BP has become embroiled in an acrimonious slanging match with one of the US Gulf states most affected by pollution from the Deepwater Horizon blowout in 2010 with the two sides trading blows over the oil company's cleanup record.
The teacher's command of his class is total. "Which one is the whole number?" he asks crisply. "Is it seven over three, or is it four?"
The drowned town of Braithwaite slowly emerged from flood waters on Friday, revealing two bodies and ruined homes as a weakened storm Isaac moved further inland, drenching Arkansas and Missouri.
The supreme court's decision to give Obamacare the nod triggered a predictably furious reaction from Republican governors. For some it also set off a feeling of deja vu, like an American madeline at a far from Proustian Tea Party.