by John Walters
Donald’s Trump Card
Can you imagine the look on the president’s face the first time someone told him that he had the power to declare a “National Emergency” (“a MAJOR award!”) pretty much at his whim? Since 1976, and don’t ask us why, Congress has ceded this “National Emergency”, um, trump card, to the executive branch.
And when Donald Trump found out about that, he had his unassailable weapon that can come in over the top of any Congressional voting. So, yeah, when a major hurricane ravages Puerto Rico, just declare a National Emergency, right? No, not for that? Mass shootings? Nope, just not feeling it. Climate change? Yeah, no. Someone else’s problem.
A border wall? Presto!
Since 1976 presidents have signed 59 National Emergencies. The difference with this one is that the president only did so as a Hail Mary pass after a 35-day government shutdown and after a bipartisan Congress refused to give him the funding for his wall that he wanted.
This morning in the Rose Garden the president said, “I didn’t need to do this. I just wanted to do it faster.” Doesn’t sound like much of an emergency.
2. No Life On Mars
Significant that on a week in which Chuck Yeager tweeted about how he can’t believe he has reached his 96th birthday (read the final chapter of The Right Stuff and you won’t believe it, either) that the Mars Rover, 15 years old, has been declared on Mars. Sailors fighting in the dance hall/Oh man, look at those cavemen go…
You won’t believe it. I don’t believe it myself – 96 today. How to live to 120? Live to 119 and then be very very careful 🙂 Celebrating with friends
— Chuck Yeager (@GenChuckYeager) February 13, 2019
We know what you’re thinking: Does this mean that Matt Damon is dead? No way. Jason Bourne has been in much stickier situations than being stranded on an uninhabited planet.
3. Tomorrow Never Knows
This sounds like someone in the writers’ room at Saturday Night Live came up with this idea as a sketch and someone else said, “Wait. No. That’s too good. Let’s save it for a movie.”
The premise: a young, scuffling musician suffers a head injury and when he comes to he soon realizes that he lives in a world where the Beatles never existed. Yet he still remembers all their songs. Yesterday is our favorite trailer since A Star Is Born and it brims with that cheeky kind of humor you saw in Notting Hill. Kate McKinnon is in it, too. Done.
The film won’t come out until June 28. We’re a little peeved they put the trailer out this early. We’re going to go through the 14 stages of infatuation with it and by the time it’s finally released, well, we’ll probably already be over it.
Yesterday, after a few New Yorkers declared that Queens already had a famous resident with a history of embarrassing text photos to a paramour-or-less (never change, Carlos Danger), Amazon reversed itself and declared that it would not build a second headquarters in the borough (who’s tracking that package).
From an infrastructure and tax revenue perspective, the politicians and advocates who pushed against Amazon’s migration to Long Island City were either blindingly ignorant or naive. On the other hand, the city’s still able to sell an apartment for $238 million, so it’s not about to go down the tubes.
As a resident of nearly three decades who finds that half the trouble (and 1/3 the cost) of traveling from New York to LA is simply getting to the airport, we never quite understood why Amazon would want to plant itself in the midst of the worst traffic snarl in America. Long Island City?!? So are you gonna take the L.I.E., Northern Boulevard or Queen Boulevard to get to Laguardia or JFK? The BQE?!? Are you kidding me! I mean, there’s an entire Seinfeld episode devoted to the fastest route to JFK.
So from that standpoint, we think Amazon saved itself and its executives a world of hurt. But railing against the company’s arrival as a New Yorker? Dumb.
5. Unicorn Poop*
*The judges never envisioned typing that headline
This ad, from 2015, reminds us partly of those arch Axe Body Spray ads and partly of The Bard character from Something Rotten. But what it really is is an advertisement for the power of advertising. The company Squatty Potty saw sales increase 600% after this ad went viral that year.
We wish this concept had been the focus of a Mad Men episode. You can totally see Ginsberg coming up with this idea, Peggy trying to get her head around it, Don shooting it down because he was really mad at someone with whom he was having an affair and projecting on to Ginsberg, then Joan saying something that made everyone realize maybe it could work, followed by Roger saying he loved the idea. Pete would be the one suffering with hemorrhoids through the episode and taking advantage of the product samples being sent over.
Goodbye To Love
Is this really the song to be playing on a post-Valentine’s Day hangover? No one had the silky, creamy voice of Karen Carpenter and no wedding in the early Seventies was allowed to take place without at least one Carpenters song on the play list. This tune came out in the summer of ’72 and reached No. 7 on the charts. Some of the sibling duo’s crazed fans were upset by the fuzz guitar solo in the middle of the song, while critics hail, because of that solo (and the one at the end) that this is possibly the first power ballad.
8 p.m. TCM
10 p.m. TCM
Abandon ship!!! James Cameron’s modern classic (1997), which won a record-tying 11 Oscars, including Best Picture, is followed by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1944 Best Picture nominee. We’re reading In The Heart Of The Sea at the moment so this lost-at-sea doubleheader couldn’t be more timely.