Saturday October 04, 2014
- Why is the former head of A.I.G., Hank Greenberg, suing the Feds for bailing out A.I.G.? And why is the rest of the press treating it as a legitimate lawsuit? And why does he have my man David Boies on his side? Is it really about the Fifth Amendment or is it to get Tim Geithner on the stand? John Cassidy reports.
- That report might make you angry enough to flip tables. If so, feel free to watch this compendium of cinematic table flips: from “Jesus Christ Superstar” to “Moonstruck” to “Die Hard” to “Pulp Fiction.” It makes you realize what an odd thing it is. I mean, who does that? In real life? Besides Jesus, of course.
- Jelani Cobb on the recent Secret Service scandals and Barack Obama's safety. What he doesn't mention, where he doesn't point fingers, is at the Hate Machine that's been pumping out vile since January 20, 2009. If something happens, how culpable would these people be? Can you shout “fire!” in a crowded theater? Can you shout “Kenyan Fascist Socialist Traitor!” at the Oval Office?
- An editorial cartoon about the White House intruder backfires.
- Why am I adding Ben Affleck to my list of heroes? Not because he's playing Batman, and certainly not because he played Daredevil. No, it's because he refused to wear a Yankees cap for a scene in “Gone Girl.”
- Are you watching the MLB playoffs? Particularly the American League playoffs? If not, you're missing greatness. But you can catch up on it by reading the greatness that is Joe Posnanski. Here he is on one of the craziest games I ever saw: that one-game Wild Card playoff between the Royals and A's. And here he is on Game 1 of the ALDS between the Angels and KC.
- Another school board with new conservative members (in Jefferson County, Col.), another fight. The board want kids to study “the postive aspects” of U.S. history while the protesters are accusing the board of censoring that history. Here's a debate I wouldn't mind having: What are the positive aspects of U.S. history? Because I get the feeling my positive aspects wouldn't jibe with the new board members'. Also this: Are there important aspects of American history that fall outside the board member's view of what's positive? If so, what's their rationale for not studying that? Broader: Do we learn from our mistakes? Or: What do you call a person who feels like they've never done anything wrong?
- So who are these conservative school board members? Pam Mazanec is one. She believes in American exceptionalism. As an example, she writes, “Yes, we practiced slavery. But we also ended it voluntarily, at great sacrifice ...” Extra credit: Debate the use of the term “voluntarily.”
- At least it's all led to a great, saracastic Twitter hastag. Plus a Funny or Die post on the new, more patriotic, American history test. But we should be past this. People like Pam Mazanec are just wasting our time.