As Last Week Tonight enters its first birthday of coming from the white void, host John Oliver started Sunday’s episode with the much-talked-about interview between Oprah Winfrey and Megan Markle and “her unemployed husband” as they addressed the instances of racism in the royal family.
Of course, Fox News and people like Piers Morgan did not like any of this while Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage told Newsmax’s Greg Kelly: “Nobody in the world, in history, has done more for people of color than the British royal family.”
“Wow!” exclaimed Oliver in regards to Farage’s comment. “The word, ‘for’ there is the absolute worst preposition. Almost any other would be better.” He went to give examples saying “Nobody in the world has done more ‘to’ people of color than the British royal family”. He also pointed out that other words like “through” and “above” instead of “for” would make more sense before presenting a picture of Prince William being carried on a palanquin by a group of Black men to help us craft our own opinion about that sentence.
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Oliver said that Farage’s hot take would be the most ridiculous claim this week, but then he quickly shifted to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who has been going through a lot in the past couple of weeks. This week, he responded to the growing number of women accusing him of harassment accusations. He held a press conference to deny those claims and speculated why members of his own party are calling for his resignation.
“Part of this is that I am not part of the political club,” said Cuomo at the March 12 press conference. “And you know what? I’m proud of it.” Oliver immediately proved his “not part of the political club” claim by bringing out the receipts because Cuomo has been part of the club for a long time. He is the former HUD Secretary, former New York Attorney General, current Chair of the National Governor’s Association and son of a three-term governor.
Oliver turned to the biggest news of the week: the signing of the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law. Americans U.S. were seeing $1,400 in their bank accounts as soon as this weekend. However, the communications chair of the DNC decided to celebrate by tweeting a video that spoofed the iconic Love, Actually scene between Andrew Lincoln and Keira Knightley’s characters.
✅ $1400 checks to 158 million households
✅ Unemployment extended thru August for 11 million people
✅ $39 billion for childcare providers
✅ 66 million kids benefiting from the child tax credit
✅EITC expanded to 17 million workers
This is so big!!! Proud! pic.twitter.com/I9f4Gq2cm6
— Adrienne Watson (@Adrienne_DNC) March 10, 2021
Oliver reacted to the video with a simple “no”. He added, “There’s simply no thematic or conceptual reason to use that scene.”
After unpacking the numerous reasons why that club not apply to the stimulus bill (for one, Love, Actually takes place in London so these characters have nothing to do with U.S. government), he began to breakdown the importance of knowing the details of the stimulus bill. “While it doesn’t contain a $15 minimum wage and the stimulus payment is only $1,400 instead of $2,000, there is still some good stuff in here!” exclaimed Oliver.
There’s money for schools and cities to handle a pandemic, extended unemployment benefits and the child tax credit, which is a guaranteed income for the year for low-income families. They would receive monthly payments instead of a lump sum during tax time. This could amount to $3,600 per child.
“It’s currently just for the year but it really should be permanent,” said Oliver. “Experts say if that happens, it could actually cut child poverty by more than half.”
He continued to say it’s one of the most significant gains in the bill and is a “huge boost” for parents who deserve it because they have been spending the past year stuck with their kids 24 hours a day.
The passing of the bill happened because the Democrats won Georgia and now control the Senate. They even had to get parts of it past diet Republicans Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema because Republicans were very against it.
Mitch McConnell said it was one of the worst pieces of legislation he has ever seen since he has been in the Senate. Oliver immediately dragged McConnell for that one calling him out for things like the post-9/11-panic passing of the USA Patriot Act or the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 that made a 100 to 1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. Oliver then got all up in arms about a National Catfish Day.
It isn’t surprising that Republicans opposed this bill but Oliver pointed out some Republicans’ behavior after the bill was passed including Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi tweeted about relief for independent restaurants acting like a hero after he voted against the bill.
“You don’t get credit for something you didn’t want to happen,” said Oliver in regards to Wicker’s tweet.
He reminded us: “The fact is, this bill is going to help millions of Americans and it is worth remembering that every single Republican opposed it.”