First movie Jimmy Carter watched in The White House. Also the reason he was in The White House.
- Linda Greenhouse does a good job breaking down the tension in the First Amendment between making no law establishing a national religion while still not prohibiting “the free exercise thereof.” And yes, the piece deals with good ol' nutsy Kim Davis.
- Speaking of nutsy: We had our second big GOP debate and Gail Collins breaks it down. (My favorite is the Marco Rubio line.)
- Even better? Emily Uecker at McSweeney's gives to each GOP presidential hopeful a Shakespeare quote. Trump's is good; Pataki's is brutal.
- Toles: What will the GOP President do on Day 2? Not brutal; just right.
- Amy Davidson on Donald Trump and the man in the T-shirt. You know, the one who said, “We have a problem in this country: It's called 'Muslim.' You know our current President is one. You know he's not even an American.”
- Via Dave Sheldon: Every movie Jimmy Carter watched in The White House: from “All the President's Men” on Jan. 22, 1977 (in a sense, the reason he was in the White House) to “Fools' Parade” on Jan. 5, 1981, which is latter-day Jimmy Stewart, and recalls Jack Warner's famous line about the miscasting of a GOP aspirant: “No, Jimmy Stewart for president; Ronald Reagan for best friend.” It's 400 movies exactly. Seems like a lot for a POTUS.
- I'd like to see more SCOTUS interviews on late night, which I might now that Stephen Colbert is on late night. Here, he talks with Stephen Breyer but never gets around to asking about Proust.
- What did Exxon know about climate change and when did it know it? According to Bill McKibben, the answers are “a lot” and “as early as 1977.”
- Finally, the New Yorker excerpt of Stacy Schiff's forthcoming book on the Salem witch trials, in which people went collectively crazy, reminds me, no surprise, of the current GOP. We use the word “Muslim” now, and “foreigner,” and “Kenyan,” and occasionally “anti-Christ,” but it all means the same thing. Another parallel: Cotton Mather made his name on that craziness but by the end he was complaining in his diary. The people, he wrote, talk “not only like idiots but also like fanaticks.” Paging John McCain, Reince Priebus, all of them.