Thursday, January 1, 2015

Something to Know - 1 January 2015 (get used to typing this new year)

Mike Luckovich

There are several articles of substance (NY Times article on the failure of the Greek austerity program, and the op-ed on social programs that DO work), but you can find those on your own.  Instead, you might just enjoy this political quiz by Gail Collins, and go about the rest of your business in one of the laziest days known to man or person kind:


The First Pop Quiz of 2015

By  DEC. 31, 2014

Happy New Year! Wishing you many good things in 2015. Or at least, a better year than the one that just ended. Which seems pretty likely, all things considered. 

But before we shove off into the future, let's see what you remember about 2014. Since there are a lot of quizzes at this time of year, we are going to specialize here in politics and air travel.

1The National Rifle Association is famous for its defense of the right to carry guns. An N.R.A. commentator demanded that the right to bear arms be extended to:

  • Blind people.

  • Preschoolers.

  • Bad shots.

  • Career criminals.

2This year, a professor at the University of North Carolina published a study of Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign in which he determined that by the end of the race it took 22 staffers to:

  • Keep the candidate's hair in check.

  • Create the candidate's position on health care.

  • Approve campaign tweets.

  • Keep the family dog tied to the car roof.

3The $1.1 trillion spending package Congress passed at the end of the year was called the:

  • Cromnibus.

  • Enola Gay.

  • Big Bargain.

  • Return to Normalcy.

4Identify the person who said, "We've had enough Bushes."

  • Barbara Bush on Jeb's presidential prospects.

  • George H.W. Bush on attendance at recent family reunions.

  • White House groundskeeper on the annual Foliage Census.

  • Texas Land Commissioner-elect George P. Bush on his commitment to family planning.

5One of the year's multitudinous crises involving air passengers behaving badly came when a woman brought a pig to her seat on a plane. She claimed she needed it:

  • To keep the man in front of her from reclining into her lap.

  • As a conversation starter.

  • For emotional support.

  • As a food tester.

6The Knee Defender is:

  • The position John Boehner played in college football.

  • A gadget you can stick onto the back of an airplane seat to keep your neighbor from reclining.

  • A line of high-fashion support stockings.

  • A member of the British royal household who accompanied Will and Kate to that basketball game in Brooklyn last month.

7After investigations into Benghazi by the House Intelligence Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Oversight Committee, Speaker John Boehner prepared for the new year by creating:

  • A drinking game in which everybody has to quaff red wine whenever they hear the word "Libya."

  • A $3.3 million special committee on Benghazi.

  • A bipartisan commission on duplication of Congressional investigations.

  • A new tradition in which he tells reporters, "If ands and buts were candy and nuts, then every day would be Christmas."

8The first thing Mitch McConnell says he'll do when he becomes Senate majority leader this month is:

  • Create a new Senate investigation into Benghazi.

  • Finance a new Monument to Coal on the National Mall.

  • Tie up Ted Cruz and stick him in the basement.

  • Pass a bill authorizing a humongous oil pipeline.

9Moved by their congressman's impassioned declarations of his innocence, voters in Staten Island re-elected Representative Michael Grimm despite his multiple indictments for tax evasion. To welcome in the new year, the triumphant Grimm:

  • Apologized to a young TV reporter for threatening to throw him over the Capitol balcony.

  • Announced he was introducing a bill that would help small businessmen like himself avoid being badgered by the Internal Revenue Service for no good reason.

  • Pleaded guilty to a felony tax charge.

  • Revealed he'd be starring in a reality show in which he is stranded on an island with the former congressman from Staten Island who was revealed to be hiding a second family in Virginia.

10Scott Fistler, a Democratic congressional hopeful in Arizona, made history when he tried to win the nomination in a largely Hispanic district by:

  • Changing his name to Cesar Chavez.

  • Promising to do something about air passengers who try to bring their pet pigs on board.

  • Promising that if elected, he'd give up Twitter.

  • Promising that if elected he'd march naked in the next Fiesta Bowl Parade.

11During the political corruption trial of the former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, the jury learned that Mrs. McDonnell texted one of the family's benefactors after an earthquake, saying:

  • "I guess this is a bad night for that ethically compromised party at the mansion."

  • "I just felt the earth move and I wasn't having sex!!!!"

  • "If I'd known they had earthquakes in Virginia I'd have married someone else."

  • "Ignore the weather. Bring the money."

Redo Quiz

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.
- -Benjamin Franklin

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