Triumph of the Will: Columnist George Will taught U.S. history to some Nationals players after meeting some on a flight to the All-Star Game. After hearing that pitcher Jordan Zimmermann likes history, Will wrote out 20 flashcards for the players. In a radio interview, pitcher Stephen Strasburg said that the cards have taught him a little about former presidents. That’s cute for now, Will, but don’t go introducing them to David Barton! +2

Bad Lieutenant: A Metropolitan Police Department officer who rode as a motorcycle escort for federal officials is on administrative leave after allegedly saying he would shoot Michelle Obama. -3

Crack Is Wack: Cracked rails, which derailed a Green Line train in Maryland last week, are becoming more prevalent in the Metro system. Metro recorded only seven rail cracks in 2008, a number that jumped to 49 in 2011. Already in the first two months of 2012, 11 rail cracks have been recorded. Fortunately, Metro has no other infrastructure issues or financial stresses that require the agency’s attention. -4

Sacre Bleu! Eater interviews the maitre ‘d at Robert Wiedmaier‘s Marcel, who takes great pleasure in his position.  Among his methods: Don’t seat parties of the same race near one another, lest it look like your restaurant is segregated; always take tips to find people better tables; and never seat a well-dressed person next to someone in khakis. The interview also makes it sound really easy to bribe the maitre ‘d at a fancy restaurant.  +3

Tuesday’s Needle rating: 32 Today’s score: -2 Today’s Needle rating: 30