The Angle

The Angle: The Mixed Bag Edition

Slate’s daily newsletter on the national emergency, Amazon and New York, and a new book on climate change.

Courting trouble: Today, President Donald Trump officially declared a national emergency to ensure construction of the border wall, bypassing congressional approval. Experts across the ideological spectrum agree this is unconstitutional, but at this point, it doesn’t matter what they think—it’s really up to the judiciary. Daniel Hemel explains why it’s a mistake to bet on the courts to stop the wall, and Dahlia Lithwick shows how Trump’s declaration undermines the Supreme Court.

Welcome to the jungle? On Thursday, Amazon stated it would back out of its plans to build part of its HQ2 in Long Island City, New York, because of opposition from state and local politicians. April Glaser writes that the grassroots anti-Amazon movement in the city could provide a blueprint to other critics of Big Tech, while Henry Grabar notes that this move represents a shift in typical American city politics: For New York, it’s no longer just about growth at all costs.

Doomsday scenario: David Wallace-Wells’ blockbuster 2017 New York magazine story, “The Uninhabitable Earth,” shocked many people into confronting the realities of climate change in a visceral way. Now he’s expanded that terrifying vision into a book of extraordinary narrative scope and no easy answers—“a critique of our perception that the human story is one of progress,” writes Susan Matthews. Read her review of the book, which comes out on Tuesday.

People power: In the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, female farmers have banded together as a collective to stand against a daunting set of challenges: sexism, the caste system, and the effects of climate change on their produce and ways of living. Journalist Namrata Kolachalam traces their amazing story.

For fun: Just where does Alexa get its Daily Quotes from?

I still don’t own a smart speaker,
Nitish