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Crime and punishment
March 29, 2014

Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman: You have some competition.

With last year’s film version of Les Miserables still the current measuring stick for the classic musical’s songs, asking Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel to perform an impromptu duet of "The Confrontation" was a pretty brave request. It was one that a member of the audience at an Inside the Actor’s Studio episode made of the How I Met Your Mother stars, nevertheless.

"Since Les Mis is coming back to Broadway, I thought maybe Jason and Neil might give us a little bit of 'The Confrontation'?" he asked, as the actors began laughing.

It takes musical master NPH all of eight seconds to launch into Javert’s role, and Jason Segel (who really does make a pretty good Jean Valjean) gamely jumps in, too:

How I Met Your Mother may have lost its spark over the last few seasons, but the true fun and chemistry between its stars is a welcome reminder of why so many people started watching in the first place. Bravo. Sarah Eberspacher

The police state
11:00 a.m. ET

An Ohio man named John Felton has uploaded to Facebook a video of his interaction with a Dayton, Ohio, police officer who says he pulled Felton over for making "direct eye contact." Earlier in the recording, the cop says he initiated the traffic stop because Felton did not employ his turn signal a full 100 feet in advance of turning, an infraction he claims to have observed after trailing Felton for two miles.

After the officer takes Felton's license back to his car, Felton, who is black, turns to the camera and explains to his friend that he knew he'd be pulled over after the police officer began following him for no apparent reason. "I'm keeping this sh-t recording," he adds. "He ain't about to Sandra Bland me."

Here's the full video (note that it does contain some strong language):

This is why I hate coming to Dayton. #DaytonPolice trailed me for almost 2 miles before pulling me over in front of my mom crib. He had no grounds for following/trailing me other than seeing an Infiniti with Michigan plates. His reason? "I gave him direct eye contact while passing him." What kind of shit is that? #DaytonPolice this cop needs to be on desk duty. Fake ass white collar thugs eager to meet their quota.

Posted by John Felton on Saturday, August 15, 2015

"A Dayton Police Officer pulled John Felton over on Aug. 15 for not signaling within 100 feet of a turn. During the stop the officer additionally acknowledged that Mr. Felton made sustained direct eye contact prior to being stopped," the City of Dayton said in a statement after Felton's video amassed nearly 50,000 views on Facebook. "The traffic infraction was verified by the video; however making direct eye contact with an officer is not a basis for a traffic stop." Bonnie Kristian

Blast from the past?
10:50 a.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The latest Iowa survey has left at least one pollster wondering if history might repeat itself. At this point eight years ago, Hillary Clinton led Barack Obama in the Iowa polls by the same margin of seven points that she now leads Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). This uncanny parallel led Iowa Poll pollster J. Ann Selzer to posit, "This feels like 2008 all over again."

By late November 2007, Obama had surged ahead and ended up winning Iowa's Democratic caucuses in early 2008. And we all know what happened after that.

But could Bernie really pull off a similar upset, based on his performance in Iowa? NPR notes that there are definitely some similarities between the two candidates. Just like Obama, Sanders is winning young voters. The Des Moines Register notes that Sanders is also claiming 43 percent of first-time caucus-goers votes while Clinton only captures 31 percent.

Still, as NPR contends, "Sanders is no Obama." NPR points out that "he doesn't have the kind of field operation, for example, at this point needed to go the distance." Furthermore, Obama enjoyed serious institutional support from the Democratic Party, which Sanders does not.

But even if Sanders can't go the distance, he can still definitely make Clinton sweat a little as she feels 'the Bern.' Becca Stanek

The Daily Showdown
10:42 a.m. ET

Confused about why renaming an Alaskan mountain is causing so much controversy? Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper investigated the issue on the show back in July, attempting to sort out why "people who don't live anywhere near the mountain" have been able to prevent the U.S. Board of Geographic names from even considering the proposal to change Mount McKinley's name to Mount Denali.

In the segment, Klepper speaks with Kimberly Kenny, a curator at the William McKinley Library and Museum. "So what does [Mount McKinley] have to do with Ohio?" Klepper asks.

"Well, it's our president, whose name is on a mountain, and he was the best president that came from Ohio," Kenny says.

"One of our greatest presidents?" Klepper asks.

"An above-average president," Kenny replies. Klepper frowns at the not-so-ringing endorsement.

"He's not one of our best presidents," Kenny explains, "but he's certainly not one of the worst."

"That counts for something, not being the worst," Klepper agrees.

Watch the entire exchange unfold below. Jeva Lange

opinions galore
10:21 a.m. ET
Mike Powell/Getty Images

Hell hath no fury like an Ohioan scorned. Buckeye State lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), are furious at President Obama's decision to change the name of Alaska's tallest peak from Mount McKinley to Denali, the mountain's native Athabascan name. Though Alaskans have referred to the mountain as Denali for years, and have had a request to change its name in the works since 1975, Ohioans are angry that the 25th president of the United States and native Ohioan will no longer take claim to the storied peak.

"I am deeply disappointed by this decision," Boehner said, adding that the mountain's title had been a "testament to [McKinley's] great legacy."

"This political stunt is insulting to all Ohioans, and I will be working with the House Committee on Natural Resources to determine what can be done to prevent this action," Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) said.

"We must retain this national landmark's name in order to honor the legacy of this great American president and patriot," Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) agreed.

"The 25th president gets overlooked too much already. Would hope the president would find another appropriate way to honor McKinley." Karl Rove — not a native Ohioan — told Politico's Playbook. (Rove likely had a personal motivation for complaint, since his book on President McKinley comes out this fall).

Many Alaskans, however, are pleased with the decision. "I'll just point out that there's a lot of things in Ohio that are already named after McKinley," Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told The Los Angeles Times. "This is no affront to our former president; this is all about ensuring that respect for the land and respect for the native people of the region is afforded." Jeva Lange

come on and slam
10:21 a.m. ET
Facebook.com/Space Jam

It's hard to understand why Michael Jordan, who starred in the iconic 1996 film Space Jam, hasn't held onto his TuneSquad uniform as a treasured keepsake all these years. But alas, one lucky — and wealthy — fan stands to benefit from his negligence.

Profiles in History plans to open an auction on his uniform Oct. 1, Entertainment Weekly reports. It shows "signs of wear and minor staining," which makes sense, because Jordan played hard against the Monstars. His jersey and matching shorts are expected to go for about $10,000 to $15,000.

Scoring the uniform is a surefire way to be the coolest kid at the eventual sequel's midnight premiere. But until that day comes, friendly reminder: The best way to kill time is by perusing the Space Jam website and poring over Rolling Stone's glorious account of how the legendary website came to be in the early days of the information superhighway. Julie Kliegman

Whatever You Say
9:32 a.m. ET
Carl Court/Getty Images

Infidelity website Ashley Madison wants you to know it's doing just fine, okay? That massive data breach exposing account information of the site's 37 million users is totally old news. Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison's parent company, touted the website's recent growth in a blog post Monday:

Recent media reports predicting the imminent demise of Ashley Madison are greatly exaggerated. The company continues its day-to-day operations even as it deals with the theft of its private data by criminal hackers. Despite having our business and customers attacked, we are growing. This past week alone, hundreds of thousands of new users signed up for the Ashley Madison platform — including 87,596 women. [Avid Life Media]

In particular, the company took issue with a Gizmodo report asserting that virtually no real women used the site and calling Ashley Madison "a science-fictional future where every woman on Earth is dead, and some Dilbert-like engineer has replaced them with badly-designed robots."

Avid Life Media CEO Noel Biderman stepped down Friday in a move the company said was in its best interest. Canadian police are reportedly investigating potential cases of extortion, hate crimes, and suicides linked to the data breach.

Nope, nothing to worry about here. Julie Kliegman

RIP
9:19 a.m. ET

Iconic horror director Wes Craven died on August 30 at age 76, leaving behind a long string of legendary scary movies (including the Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream franchises). Decades after he launched his career with The Last House on the Left, what did Craven hope would be his legacy? In an interview for the home release of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Craven delved into an appropriately horror-tinged topic: what he'd like on his gravestone.

"Somebody once — when I was first starting in films, in New York — says, 'If you want something on your gravestone, and you're in the film business, I think the best thing is filmmaker. If you can honestly say that, that's all you need to say.'"

"And that, I think, I would like that on my gravestone. Along with, 'Whatever you do, don't fall asleep.'" Scott Meslow

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