by John Walters
Tweet Me Right
BREAKING: Pres. Trump touches down in Vietnam for his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump is under pressure to demonstrate what meaningful progress has been made since the first meeting, and what the U.S. stands to gain going forward https://t.co/gd21fSgBHM pic.twitter.com/18mgc6i4Wt
— ABC News (@ABC) February 26, 2019
Is 52 years still “fashionably late?” Still, you gotta hand it to Trump. Avoids service in Vietnam and thinks, No, I’m not going there until I’m in charge of the entire damned Armed Forces of the United States. Loathe him all you want, but that’s a mic drop moment.
Lieutenant Kendrick, I Presume
As much as “Everything comes back to Seinfeld” relates to everyday life, “Everything comes back to A Few Good Men” is a solid aphorism in terms of political or power-related machinations. Hence, when we watched Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, who reminds us of an overly helpful SEC sports information director right up until the minute you break the story about his coach boinking a secretary or having a bag man, attempt to intimidate witness Michael Cohen yesterday, we thought of Lieutenant Kendrick (Kiefer Sutherland).
This of course would make our president Col. Nathan Jessup (“You want me to build that wall, you need me to build that wall!). Here’s what Gaetz tweeted out yesterday, later claiming that it was “witness testing” and not “witness tampering”:
Hey @MichaelCohen212 – Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot…
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) February 26, 2019
Like Kendrick, who carried out Jessup’s Code Red (passing on the illegal order to Dawson and Downey), Gaetz is an unabashedly loyal Trumpian foot soldier. As are Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Devin Nunes (California). Their hope is that when the Trump presidency is over, they will become the new leaders of the extreme right. We’ll see.
Stormy Daniels! Roger Stone! Racism! Bone spurs! Michael Cohen’s prepared testimony is the “NOW! That’s What I Call Music” of President Trump’s greatest hits. https://t.co/Fq852zp9Xi
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) February 27, 2019
It took us awhile, but we finally placed the actor who reminds us of Gaetz. His name is Steven Eckholdt, and he played Jed Bartlett’s adulterous and clueless and untrustworthy son-in-law on The West Wing. “It always comes back to Aaron Sorkin” is another good aphorism. Eckholdt also played Rachel’s douchey co-worker on Friends (below). He’s always the guy you can’t stand.
2. Nolan’s Payday
Do you know this man? He just secured the largest pay day for a position player in baseball history in terms of per-year salary: $32.5 million per year for the next eight years.
It’s not that Nolan Arenado, 26, isn’t deserving if anyone is. A third baseman, he’s earned six Gold Gloves in his six seasons and four All-Star selections. And if he played in a more visible market, he might’ve won and MVP or two by now. The southern California native, of Cuban ancestry, has led the National League in homers twice and in RBI three times.
It’s just that no one outside of Denver or the offices of Baseball America knows who he is. And that’s probably just fine by him. He’s not looking to be a celebrity. If someone wants to pay him Mike Trout/Bryce Harper money and he can remain relatively anonymous, he’ll take it. Speaking of those two, one if not both is going to be earning more than Arenado per year soon (Trout next year).
For those wondering, Nolan Ryan earned less than $26 million over the course of his entire 26-season HOF career.
3. The Clancy Of Queens
During our 800-or-so mile drive last Saturday, we listened to a plethora of NPR (we normally would have written “a lot of NPR” but it’s NPR so we felt as if we should up our game). That’s partly because in the vast open spaces of Nevada it was often the one station that would come in static-free but also because it’s usually a welcome companion on a long road trip: we listened to “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” and “Ask Me Another.” Twice. Both shows.
And we also listened to two episodes of The Moth, which is where people like you and me take the stage in front of a live audience and tell true stories about themselves. As you might imagine, these are hit-or-miss. The huge hit for us was Tara Clancy, a girl from Queens who being both Irish and a New Yorker is a born raconteur. On career opportunities growing up in Queens: “You were either going to be A), a cop or B), not a cop.”
Then again, maybe we were just an extremely captive audience.
4. The People Problem
In 1800 there were an estimated one billion people inhabiting planet Earth. Now, just a little more than two centuries later, there are 7.7 billion people living on this planet (and now we feel even worse by the number of visitors we get to this site daily). It is estimated, unless we have some catastrophic nuclear war or epidemic, that the global population will exceed 10 billion humans by the end of the century.
This is something we heard last week that alarmed us: there are currently more people living on Earth than all the people who ever lived on Earth in the history of humanity (and still the Suns cannot put together a decent starting lineup).
Guess what, my friends: that growth curve is not sustainable, and we all can’t just get on the next SpaceX and rocket to Mars. It’s a little farther away than you may think and, oh yeah, it’s basically uninhabitable without a space suit and some mittens.
So when everyone’s favorite Latina millennial punching bag, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, suggests that Americans should stop having babies, it’s easy to dismiss her as whack or “How come you can’t keep a man, honey?” But, like most magical thinkers who aren’t appreciated by their contemporaries, she’s making a greater point if you want to take the long view.
It’s a big blue marble, but it’s not THAT big. We’re rapidly approaching critical mass, humans-wise. Never mind to what we’re doing to the environment. With the exception of a few pesky insects, man (and by that I mean Western European Man, or WEM, in particular) is the only creature unable to live in balance and harmony with his environment. At least in the past 500 years, WEM has operated on a strategy of expand and grow and “acquire” (or, colonize) and grow and grow and grow and GROW.
Maybe not in this lifetime, but in your kids’ or their kids’, that model is going to take a beating. The last thing we need more of, and bless your little darlings’ hearts, is people. Nothing personal. It’s just a fact.
5. All The Light I Can Nazi
Big day today if you’re a Nazi. Big, big day. Iron your swastika badge.
On this day in 1925 Adolf Hitler (one imprisoned in Germany for treason, you may recall) introduced the National Socialist (!) German Workers’ Party, or Nazi Party, to Munich. Then, eight years later on this same date, the Reichstag Fire.
If you’re unfamiliar, the Reichstag Fire set the standard for any and all False Flag operations to follow. Less than one full month after Hitler is installed as Chancellor of Germany, a fire breaks out at night at the seat of German parliament, the Reichstag. Hitler and his minions blame Communists (but of course!) and soon after the Reichstag Decree is passed, permitting Hitler to suspend most civil liberties in what had been a Democratic society.
You know the rest of the story…
Thank heavens no one of German descent with a taste for authoritarian rule and a conveniently amoral view of the world could ever be put in charge of this country. Meanwhile, if you run into any of your neighborhood Nazis today, do wish them a Happy Reichstag Fire Day and also, perhaps, to bleep off and die…
In the first few months of 1980, The Cars were one of the most popular rock bands in the world and this song by Gary Numan was No. 1 in both the U.K. and Canada (it topped out at No. 9 here). Numan’s heavy-synth, alien-monotone vocals song out-Devo’ed Devo and made some of us wonder if guitars were dead for good. This song belongs on any and every anthology of New Wave music.
No. 10 Marquette at Villanova
9 p.m. FS1
Warriors Golden Eagles (23-4) have the nation’s most electrifying sub-6 shooter in Markus Howard, who posted 53 in a win at Creighton earlier this winter. The Wildcats (20-8), in case you’ve forgotten, have won two of the past three national championships. Not bad. Not bad at all.*
*Although we feel as if we should recommend The Maltese Falcon at 10 a.m. EST if you have the chance to tune in.