Movie Interviews
5:51 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

In New Documentary, Our Economic Fall Writ Large

Jackie Siegel poses in The Queen of Versailles. She and her husband, David, were building the largest house in the U.S. before the recession soured their plans.
Lauren Greenfield Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 8:39 pm

The Queen of Versailles is a movie about a couple who set out to build a colossal 90,000-square-foot home — the biggest in America — inspired by the palace of Louis XIV, the Sun King.

In another time, this might have been the premise for a fictional film — a fable about hubris and material excess. But in our time, The Queen of Versailles is actually a documentary about the real life of David and Jackie Siegel of Orlando, Fla.

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It's All Politics
5:42 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

New Questions About Timing Of Romney's Bain Departure

Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign stop in Roxbury, Mass., on Thursday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 10:37 am

The Boston Globe reported new details Friday about Mitt Romney's lingering ties to his private equity firm, Bain Capital, after he left Boston to run the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

The Globe says Romney was "not merely an absentee owner" between 1999 and 2002, despite financial disclosure forms that say he "has not been involved in the operations" of Bain Capital "in any way," for more than a dozen years.

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Monkey See
5:35 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Catharsis In A Cape: On Comic-Book Heroes And Real-World Violence

Emotional Armor: Superheroes like Batman (Christian Bale) function as talismans when our fears are darkest — symbols of good, and of justice, when we wonder whether either exists.
Ron Phillips Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 7:02 pm

What is Batman for?

The whole idea's ridiculous, always has been. Guy dresses up like a bat to scare criminals. Shyeah. Not something that can truly chill the blood — a snake, say, or a spider — but a bat, the sight of which causes most of us to sigh and reach for a tennis racket to shoo the little guy out the nearest window.

It's an idea a kid would come up with, which is one reason it's come in for such merciless lampooning over the years: Pow. Zap. "Holy priceless collection of Etruscan snoods, Batman," et cetera.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:53 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

'Tollbooth' Author Norton Juster Plays Not My Job

Courtesy of Norton Juster

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 12:45 pm

Fifty years ago, a young architect named Norton Juster decided to procrastinate by writing a children's book; his roommate, a young cartoonist named Jules Feiffer, did all the illustrations. The result was The Phantom Tollbooth, which has since become a beloved children's classic.

Since Juster knows enough about The Phantom Tollbooth already, we've invited him to answer three questions about The Phantom Menace.

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Television
4:43 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

MSNBC Gets Academic: Meet Host Prof. Harris-Perry

Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC's newest host, is a Tulane professor with a Ph.D. in political science from Duke. She hosts the two-hour Melissa Harris-Perry show, which airs on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Eliot Kamenitz The Times-Picayune /Landov

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 6:56 pm

Cable news channels tend to treat intellectuals gingerly — as fragile curiosities or as targets for ridicule — when they appear at all.

Not MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry. This newly anointed cable host commutes 1,300 miles each week for her eponymous program of opinionated conversation, interviews and essays that runs live for two hours each Saturday and Sunday morning.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

A Litany Of Victims: Dispatch Tapes Reveal Chaos, Bloodshed Of Mass Shooting

Calls to police started coming in at about 12:30 a.m. from a theater in Aurora, Colo., showing "The Dark Knight Rises."
Karl Gehring The Denver Post via AP

Originally published on Sat July 21, 2012 9:45 am

It's hard to listen to the 16-minutes of audio coming from the Aurora Police dispatch. It begins with the first reports of a shooting at a movie complex.

At about two minutes into the recording, you hear reports that "someone is spraying gas." Then as police begin arriving at the scene, they start asking dispatch to send more officers, to send more ambulances.

"I got people running out of the theater that are shot," one officer says.

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Business
4:22 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Romney's 1040: Tax Terms An Accountant Would Love

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 5:17 pm

For weeks, Democrats have been trying to call voters' attention to the financial dealings of Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Supporters of President Obama, the Democratic Party's candidate, have been suggesting that Romney has exploited tax shelters and offshore accounts to build and protect his wealth in ways that average taxpayers would never be able to do.

They are demanding Romney release many years of tax returns.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:30 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Texas Slow To Review Health Insurance Rate Hikes

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has opposed the expansion of Medicaid under the Accountable Care Act, and his administration has yet to review big health insurance rate hikes under the law.
L.M. Otero AP

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 6:56 pm

Few governors have been as vocal and as unequivocal in their opposition to the federal health care law as Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Perry, a Republican, has vowed not to expand Medicaid and not to create an insurance exchange. Consumer advocates in Texas say the Perry administration has also been dragging its feet when it comes to insurance rate review.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

From Our Readers: Colorado Massacre Stir Emotions

Two-Way readers were immediately struck by a sense that the victims of the Aurora, Colo., shooting could have been anyone, as well as shock that something as simple and fun as going to a movie could turn violent without warning:

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The Picture Show
2:38 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Fighting For Photos Of The Tour De France

James Startt Courtesy of Bicycling magazine

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 4:55 pm

One of the first times photographer James Startt recalls seeing Lance Armstrong was during the 1992 Olympic trials as the two rounded a corner together. Startt, an avid cyclist, says he only came close to Armstrong once during the tryouts.

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