Wiretap: The national stories you should be reading

This will shock no one, but it should. New York Times columnist Tim Egan writes about the new guardian of public lands, William Perry Pendley, who, of course, does not believe in public lands. He was appointed by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who was — of course — a former oil and gas lobbyist. Pendley has made it his life’s work to end the whole idea of public lands, which account for acreage that is 50% larger than the state of Texas. Pendley will feel right at home. It was just a few days ago, we saw the rollback — by executive fiat — of the Endangered Species Act, which has protected bald eagles, grizzly bears and a lot of other animals on the Sierra Club calendars my law professor- daughter gets in the mail. It fits right in with acting head of immigration service, Ken Cuccinelli, who just suggested a rewrite of the Emma Lazarus poem on the Statue of Liberty. His version would read, in brief, if you’re hungry, poor and/or wretched, find some loser country that will take you in. On the other hand, if you want to drill on the remaining public lands, sign up now.

We hear many warnings about climate change and global warming and how relatively little time we have to left to counteract some of the worst possibilities. But according to a Washington Post analysis, extreme climate change — defined as a rise of at least 2 degrees Celsius — has already hits parts of the United States, including counties in Colorado. Here’s the graphic. And — spoiler alert — here are the Colorado counties: Montrose, Mesa, Rio Blanco, San Miguel, Ouray, Morgan, Delta and Moffat. It’s just too late to dismiss the science.

Let’s applaud The Atlantic for offering a wide range of views, but while two online articles at Atlantic.com agree on many points, they come to radically different conclusions. David Graham argues that Trump’s ideas are growing less popular by the day, even with some in his base, meaning he’s in deep trouble when it comes to 2020. The other article argues that Trump’s popularity, or lack thereof, his bigotry, his possibly teetering economy doesn’t mean he won’t be re-elected. Yascha Mounk writes that there’s every chance he will be. Read both arguments and see if you can figure out who might be right.

He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow.