- Gail Collins gives us The Ted Cruz Pop Quiz. I got 8 out of 9.
- The GOP, progenitor of the phrase “class warfare,” suddenly cares about income inequality? John Cassidy puts on his Deep Throat mask and urges us to follow the money.
- Putting together two of my favorite guys—David Simon of “The Wire” and Barack Obama of the White House—would, you'd think, be a slamdunk for me. But the conversation between the two isn't as interesting as I'd hoped. Maybe because they agree with each other too much? Maybe because I agree with both of them too much? But I like: “It's draconian and it doesn't work,” from Simon on the drug wars. I like Simon's story about the real Omar, Donnie Andrews. I like Pres. Obama talking about humanizing both drug dealers and cops—particularly against (and he doesn't say this) our tendency to demonize others. But I would've liked a conversation less about the drug trade than the central theme of “The Wire,” which was “the numbers game,” and its appearance in police departments, schools, newspapers, and politics; and the ways the numbers game is not benefiting society.
- Extra credit: The title of Simon's website, “The Audacity of Despair” is a takeoff, obviously, on Obama's book, “The Audacity of Hope.” Maybe they should've duked it out over which was in fact more audacious. Or talked over the advantages of each. Why each is necessary. Where each gets us.
- How change happens: Joe Posnanski on the hard-earned generosity of spirit of 1940s Dodgers backup catcher Bobby Bragan.
- Why did it take so long for Eddie Mathews to make the Hall of Fame in the 1970s? Was it his disposition? His lack of MVPs? Being overlooked as the teammate of Henry Aaron? Did the BBWAA just not like white people? Joey Pos investigates.
- David Schoenfield on the most underrated player in baseball today. (Psst: He plays for the Mariners.)
- Long read of the week: Seymour Hersh's Letter from My Lai. Horrifying and uplifting, both.