Tag Archives: Twitter

The very lamest excuse of the 2016 Presidential election

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

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Making sense of Lewis Black’s pre-election prophecy

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

The right way to fact-check President Trump

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

Steve Bannon is not so far outside the American mainstream, after all

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

Why Trump really went after that crying baby

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

Why isn’t this Olympic gold-worthy tweet going viral?

This morning, Olympic spectators were treated to the sort of heart-warming interaction that encapsulates why so many people enjoy watching sports, and especially international competitions. As the New York headline described it, “Tripped-Up Olympic Runners Finish Race Together in Apparent Attempt to Make Me Weep Uncontrollably at My Desk“. In case that doesn’t paint you enough of a picture, here’s what that looked like in the form of a moving one:

Continue reading Why isn’t this Olympic gold-worthy tweet going viral?

Third Eye Blind let the RNC off pretty easy

Until this morning, I was not aware that Third Eye Blind is still a thing. That’s when I spotted the numerous headlines hailing the band’s heroic performance at some sort of RNC after-party. According to Vox, the band was guilty of “surprising guests with messages of gay rights and science and serenading them with some of the band’s more obscure songs.” Off with their heads.*

Continue reading Third Eye Blind let the RNC off pretty easy

Who should the GOP draft to take down Trump? This brave five year-old girl

There’s been a lot of finger-pointing about just who is most responsible for the rise of Trump, but there is at least one point of broad consensus: for too long, the GOP was afraid of attacking him, and his adversaries spent far too long tearing down one another instead.

On some level, their strategy was understandable: Trump was a punchline until he wasn’t, and so his rivals devoted most of their energy to jockeying for second place. Moreover, it’s unclear that any of their attacks would even stick. When Marco Rubio tried his hand at insult comedy, the results fell far short of spectacular.

But those considerations did not deter all his adversaries. Back in 2010, one five year-old girl issued a challenge to Donald Trump, nearly six years before any Republican candidate managed to accomplish the same feat:

Continue reading Who should the GOP draft to take down Trump? This brave five year-old girl

A piece of Purim poetry, inspired by #ManInTree

Last Tuesday, while much of the world stood transfixed by the tragic bombings in Brussels, Seattle could not take its eyes off #ManInTree — a man (surprise!) who defied police orders to descend from an 80-foot sequoia tree in downtown Seattle for a full Shabbat (25 hours).

At the height (pun intended) of his popularity, KOMO News’ livestream of #ManInTree’s treetop standoff attracted 420,000 viewers (the perfect number of Seattleites to demonstrate interest in someone really, really high). By comparison, a nearby Hillary rally attracted fewer than 3,000.

As #ManInTree’s ordeal stretched into Wednesday, I could not help but notice certain parallels between his story and that of the impending holiday of Purim (which began that night). And so I was inspired to pen a piece of poetry,* which I now publish publicly for the first time. I hope you enjoy:

Continue reading A piece of Purim poetry, inspired by #ManInTree