March 17, 2014
Facebook/The Veronica Mars Movie

This weekend, Veronica Mars fans were delighted by the release of the long-awaited film sequel, which was partially funded through a Kickstarter campaign to the tune of $5.7 million last year. But now that the excitement of a new Veronica Mars adventure has worn off, critics can start evaluating the content of the film — and NPR's Linda Holmes has a particularly thoughtful critique of the movie's troubling philosophy on relationships. (Spoilers for the Veronica Mars movie to follow.)

The Veronica Mars movie offers a textbook example of what Holmes dubs "The Bad Caterpillar Theory": The idea that a "mean, jealous, possessive, violent, angry, emotionally unavailable," guy will evolve into a noble, trustworthy, good-hearted man if the female protagonist simply waits long enough. In this case, Veronica's boyfriend of nearly a decade is pushed aside in favor of Logan Echolls, a bad boy with a heart of gold:

By the time the movie starts, Logan has emerged as the Butterfly to a degree that's almost comical. He no longer has any flaws whatsoever; he shows up in Navy whites that weirdly look like they're too big for him, but the message is clear: he's all grown up. There's effectively no edge left to the character at all, and although the movie co-opts the language of addiction and recovery to have Veronica talk about the relationship as an addiction, there's no indication that any of it is actually bad for her or that she's even legitimately conflicted about it. He's transparently innocent of the crime she's trying to get him off the hook for, he's in the Navy ... he's basically been transformed into a cartoon prince.

At last, her patience, her faith, her unwillingness to give up has paid off. The Butterfly has arrived.

So of course she has to dump her nice, generous, supportive, unexciting boyfriend. Of course she does. [NPR]

Read the rest of this thoughtful article at NPR. Scott Meslow

8:48 a.m. ET

WikiLeaks said its supporters are responsible for the massive cyberattack Friday which took down numerous major websites, including The New York Times, Twitter, Etsy, Tumblr, Spotify, Comcast, and more. "Mr. Assange is still alive and WikiLeaks is still publishing," the organization wrote to hackers involved in the incident in a tweet Friday afternoon, asking for the widespread denial of service attacks to cease.

Also Friday afternoon, hacktivist groups Anonymous and New World confirmed the tweet's implications, saying they orchestrated the attack as retaliation for the Ecuadorian government's decision to take away internet access from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange following his site's ongoing release of emails hacked from the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are investigating the attacks. Bonnie Kristian

8:28 a.m. ET
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Democrat Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters were partially evacuated Friday night after a mailed envelope containing a mysterious white powder was discovered. New York City law enforcement investigated the substance and determined it was not hazardous, though its exact nature has not been released.

The investigation is now ongoing and the sender has yet to be identified. None of the four campaign staffers who had contact with the powder have reported any symptoms of illness.

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, similar envelopes of white powder mailed to multiple locations around the United States were found to contain spores of anthrax, a potentially deadly bacteria. Bonnie Kristian

8:09 a.m. ET
Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Republican Donald Trump will give a major speech in historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Saturday morning to lay out his plans for his first 100 days in office if elected president. An advance copy of the speech was not released, but campaign staff said it would be a "very specific, detailed vision" for "economic and physical security," introducing new policy details as Election Day nears.

One Trump aide compared the speech to the 1994 GOP "Contract with America." Rival Hillary Clinton could not make a similar presentation because she "doesn't have a governing vision for America because she has no vision," another Trump aide said. "Hillary Clinton, she can't even go there because she doesn't know what check she will get between now and when she would be hypothetically elected."

Also on Saturday, the 11th woman to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct is expected to come forward. Bonnie Kristian

October 21, 2016
Courtesy image

"Attention chess lovers and history buffs," says Eustacia Huen at Forbes: This extravagantly bejeweled chessboard is ready to be played, not just displayed. Named after a historic clash between the armies of Alexander the Great and Persia's Darius III, the Battle of Issus Chess Set ($1,650,000) was created late last century by a master jeweler who poured 14,000 hours into crafting its figurines, using 14 pounds of gold and 11 pounds of silver while accenting the work with pearls, garnets, turquoise, rose quartz, and enamel. Each figure is unique, down to the character's shoelaces, and the set is being sold with a mahogany table and two antique leather-upholstered chairs. The Week Staff

October 21, 2016

A South Carolina waitress was left a note by a fundamentalist couple chiding her for working instead of staying home and taking care of her husband. The waitress, who is single and has no children, said she felt "a bit heartbroken" by the note, which stated that a "woman's place is in the home" and urged her to "help make America great again" by cooking and cleaning as "her husband and God intended."

Here's the message — with its original grammar mistakes — in full:

Thank you for your excelent service today — your a good waitress.

Here's your tip:

The womans place is in the home. You're place is in the home. It even says so in the Bible. You may think that your contributing to your household by coming into work, but your not. While your in here 'working' this is the reason your husband must see another women on his way home from a long day at his work. Because you should be takeing care of the household duties. You may think what you are doing 'working' is right, it is really essentially a disgrace to his manhood and to the American family. So instead of coming to your 'job' and looking for hand out's to feed your family, hows about going home and cleaning your house and cooking a hot meal for your husband and children, the way you're husband and God intended, and help make America great again. Praying for families and our nation. [The Miami Herald]

How sweet. The Week Staff

October 21, 2016
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Bridget Anne Kelly, the former aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) who sent the infamous "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email at the center of Christie's Bridgegate scandal, took the stand Friday in the federal trial surrounding the 2013 incident.

In her testimony, Kelly claimed that the proposal to close access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey, was presented to her by former Port Authority official David Wildstein as a "traffic study." The governor's staff is accused of closing the lanes as political retaliation against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich (D), who had declined to endorse Christie in his re-election race, but Kelly told jurors Wildstein — who has already admitted to masterminding the plot and is the prosecution's key witness — told her he was running a study on traffic patterns near the bridge and "wanted to use the traffic study as a pedestal to prop up Christie for improving congestion at the bridge," NBC New York reports.

Also during her testimony, Kelly recounted alleged bullying at the hands of Christie unrelated to the bridge closure, saying that Christie once threw a water bottle at her. She broke down in tears twice on the stand.

Kelly faces incriminating evidence, reports, including the aforementioned email and subsequent missives and texts, including some exchanged with Wildstein the week of the incident. She is on trial with Bill Baroni, another former Port Authority official, who testified earlier this week; Kelly is scheduled to testify for several more days. Each faces conspiracy and fraud charges that, if convicted, could lead to up to 20 years in prison. Kimberly Alters

October 21, 2016

The way Vice President Joe Biden would really like to settle the score with Donald Trump doesn't include a debate stage. "The press always ask me, 'Don't I wish I were debating him?'" Biden said while campaigning for Hillary Clinton at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania on Friday. "No, I wish we were in high school, and I could take him behind the gym. That's what I wish."

Biden's suggestion that he'd rather use his fists than his words to fight Trump came as he expressed contempt for the Republican nominee's remarks about women. "What a disgusting assertion for anyone to make," Biden said, referring to Trump's past boasting about being able to do whatever he pleases to women because of his celebrity status. Biden said what Trump "said he did and does" is the "textbook definition of sexual assault."

Watch Biden's comments at the Friday rally below. Becca Stanek

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