by John Walters

Tweet du Jour


Starting Five

Dr. King, moments before his assassination

1. MLK

“Like anyone I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the Promised Land.”

—The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 3, 1968

Fifty years ago today, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. What Dr. King doing in Memphis? Two months earlier a pair of black city sanitation workers had been crushed by a truck’s garbage compactor. The city refused to compensate their families, leading 1,300 workers, who were being paid 65 cents an hour, to walk off the job.

In his now famous “Promised Land” speech, MLK seemed to sense that his time was limited (his plane from Atlanta had been delayed for a thorough luggage check for bombs or weapons). King, in his final night on earth, was prescient. “I don’t know what will happen now,” he said on a stormy night at the Mason Temple. “There are some difficult days ahead.”

As King lay mortally wounded, friends and bystanders point to the direction from which they heard the shots

Throughout his public life, King preached against three evils: racism, militarism and poverty. Fifty years later, thank God we got over all that.

Martin Luther King was 39.

2. Get A Whiff Of That

Last Thursday, in his New York Yankee debut, reigning National League MVP Giancarlo “Gone Carlo” Stanton hit two home runs. Yesterday, in his Yankee Stadium debut, Stanton struck out FIVE times. If striking out four times is a Golden Sombrero, we here suggest that striking out five times, i.e. a 5K performance, should be known as a “Fun Run.”

Former Yankee Reggie Jackson,  who will always be beloved in the Bronx, struck out more times (2,597) than anyone in Major League history. He never struck out five times in one game.

Former Yankee Alex Rodriguez, the team’s last player to be a league MVP, is fifth all-time in strikeouts (2,287). He never struck out five times in one game.

Current Yankee and reigning A.L. Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge led the big leagues in strikeouts last season (208). He never struck out five times in one game.

We were watching the final three innings. Yankee fans did not boo Stanton en masse until the fifth whiff, when the game was in hand for the Bombers (11-4) and Stanton K’ed with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. They were hoping for a redemption grand slam. And were disappointed.

It’s one game. And one magnificent player. But no one who follows the Yankees will forget Stanton’s debut (related: Judge hit a home run in his first Yankee at-bat, but then again, so did Stanton).

3. I Feel Glorious, Gregorious!

In the same victory against the Tampa Bay Raymonds, Yankee shortstop Didi Gregorious provided an example of ol’ Rule No. 7: Every baseball game provides the potential to see something that has never before happened. Didi, who hit two three-run bombs over the right field fence, became the first player in MLB history to record 8 RBI in his team’s home opener. The first.

By the way, when Didi played his first Yankee home game four years ago, he was taunted by lovelorn Yankee fans with chants of “De-rek Je-ter!” So, chin up, Giancarlo.

Now, Gregorious is the Yankees’ most gregarious player.

By the way,Didi’s feat was AN example of Rule No. 7, but not the latest: last night the Cardinals-Brewers game became the first in MLB history to begin and end with back-to-back home runs. For drama’s sake, both Brewer homers in the 5-4 walk-off win came with none on and two out (and on consecutive pitches). Ryan Braun ended it; chicks dig the long ball.

4. The China Syndrome

This is going to shock many of you, but I’m going to defend President Donald J. Trump here in this space this morning. On two fronts. Let’s begin with China.

Last week Trump imposed tariffs on 1,300 categories of Chinese goods. Because China is the world’s premiere economic power and owns a great deal of American debt (i.e, they are our Shylock), this was not necessarily a move that would help his popularity. Why not? Because today China struck back by imposing tariffs on 106 U.S. goods and the stock market is set to open 500 points in the red.

Trump’s argument: “Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!” While his numbers are off (it’s actually closer to $375 billion, total), the truth is that the partnership is not a fair one at the moment. And if you are ever going to attempt to level the playing field, wouldn’t the best time to do so be when the stock market is near an all-time high and unemployment is low? When the economy is at its healthiest?

In short, Trump does/says at least a handful (a tiny hand-ful) of dumb, deceitful or corrupt things every day, but we are not going to smack him for this. Part of your job as POTUS is to make decisions that short-term may seem awful but long-term are beneficial. In the short term, a trade war with China is going to bring pain. And maybe it’s even a bad gambit. But you’re never going to alter the situation if you don’t try.

Number 2: While we disagree with Trump on a number of things about immigration (No. 1, “THE WALL”) and while he does not seem to understand that you can’t use the military as law enforcement at the border (there’s literally a congressional act against doing so), here’s what we know: the screecher on MSNBC and to a certain extent CNN deride Trump daily for his flouting of the Constitution or of regulations. “We are a country of laws!” we hear over and over again.

And yet, when it comes to illegal immigration (and that’s what it is), we get terms such as “immigration” or “dreamers.” Dig it: I work with illegal aliens. I’m in awe of their work ethic and (yes, I know how this sounds) many of them are my friends. There’s no demonization here on illegal immigrants as people or as contributors to the American economy or even American life (I worship the taco trucks on 96th an Broadway an also 69th and Broadway).

That’s not the point. The point is, you cannot hide behind your “We are a nation of laws!” cloak but then casually ignore that millions of people broke a law to be here. If you want to change immigration policy, fine. That’s another topic. My only point is that there are laws in place, Trump and ICE are enforcing them (ham-handedly, sure), and that’s what the head of the executive branch is there to do.

Now you may say, “Oh, he’s only enforcing them to play to his xenophobic base.” Well, of course. But that’s besides the point. If you play the “Constitutional absolutist” card, you are not allowed to just ignore that illegal aliens are here illegally. This morning on CNBC Andrew Ross Sorkin was teasing sidekick Joe Kernen and said, “Cover your ears, [we’re going to talk about] climate change and immigration—”

“You mean ‘illegal immigration’?” Kernen interrupted.

He was right. My God, I’ve stood up for Donald Trump and Joe Kernen in one item. It’s time to take a shower.

5. Safari Sidd Finch


Maybe you, too, were touched by this African alliance moment. Then you noticed the date and the name of the person who tinged it. Well done, Kruger Sightings.



Our pal Teddy G. takes a shot of what is either The Masters press room or mission control for SpaceX.

Shut Up And Drivel

Did Mediaite mistype this or did the speaker not understand the distinction between drivel and dribble?

Music 101

What’s Going On

It’s the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, and no, we’re not going with the song from the Dublin quartet. We’re keeping it here and we’re keeping it real. Marvin Gaye’s classic elegy, inspired by a police brutality incident, was also a closing antiphon of the Sixties (it was released in 1971). Gaye would be shot dead himself 13 years later—by his father—on April 1, on the eve of his 45th birthday.

Remote Patrol


7:30 p.m. FX

We’ve never seen it, but we’re curios. Drugs, border, violence, and Josh Brolin.

2 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Well, this has certainly been a week of shocks, from UCONN losing to finding out jdubs is an AMZN virgin to NOW finding out jdubs doesn’t believe in “free trade”. Can you please elucidate why tariffs will HELP the USA in “the long term”? If I was concerned about inflation before, I am TERRFIED now. The one thing I can’t quite figure out is WHAT’S IN IT FOR TRUMP, as EVERY SINGLE THING THAT SOCIOPATHIC CRETIN does is derived solely from SELF-INTEREST.

    The more I think about your position, the more shocked I am. You’ve ALWAYS been a “survival of the fittest” kinda guy – if you/an industry can’t keep up or handle the job, you’re toast & thrown on the dustbins of history along with the blacksmiths, carriage makers, telephone operators, etc, etc, but NOW you want to protect SOME chosen industries? Please explain before my head explodes.

    As for immigration, I’m not thrilled with all the “illegals” either & ESPECIALLY if they enjoy this country’s goods & services WITHOUT PAYING TAXES (a personal pet peeve of mine), but the DRACONIAN methods currently utilized by ICE are Nazi-like & the equivalent of that convenience store clerk who just shot & KILLED a guy for stealing a beer…

    MLK – the “I have a dream” speech was one of the most impactful things I’d seen on TV when I was very young. I can still remember where I was when watching it on a old 19 inch black & white “console” TV. I didn’t really understand much of what I saw of the civil rights movement at the time (I was young!) & it was actually frightening because almost every night on TV, we’d see images of people assaulting or being assaulted by police. But I do remember King & that speech in particular. It gave me goosebumps. The murder was shocking & tragic. For his family & the country. He’s one of those people (like Lincoln) that you can’t help wondering “what if he lived a long life, how would our history be changed”? And I’d rather hear that debate a thousand times over the umpteenth ‘LeBron vs Jordan’!

    • Susie B.

      I won’t pretend to be an economic expert like Larry Kudlow, or a cocaine fiend like Larry Kudlow. All I’d say is obviously China has an advantage on us via work force and draconian employee and human rights conditions that makes it cheaper to import their stuff and sell it here than to make it here. I’m an anti-social Darwinist (I believe in survival of the fittest and also in not attending cocktail parties), so maybe I’m contradicting my values by backing Trump here. I’d argue that the critics of Trump are not taking your position, but rather that the market is down b/c he is taking this stand. I’m happy to learn more.

      As for illegal immigration, I’m not sure what you’d like ICE to do. Give everyone a lollipop? There are no good optics for deporting people, but everyone who comes here illegally understands that this is a possibility. Trump said yesterday that we don’t have deportation, we have “catch-and-release.” I laughed. For once he was absolutely right. They come right back. Again, I have no problem with people trying to create better lives for themselves and their kin. It’s more about the hypocrisy of saying we’re a nation of laws except for immigration law.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *