In the wake of all the terrible news happening right now, President Obama took a preemptive measure this week by doing a lengthy photo shoot where he walked somberly and gravely to and from podiums in various locations. “It’ll just give us coverage when more bad stuff happens,” said Press Secretary Josh Earnest. With the President on vacation, it made sense for the White House to generate the stoic images for when a tragedy or conflict happens while he is on future vacations. “With how bad things are at home and abroad, it’s a smart move. Nothing reassures the nation more than seeing the president strolling somberly away from a podium,” added Mr. Earnest.
After being indicted by an Austin Grand Jury for an alleged abuse of power, Texas Gov. Rick Perry went to a courthouse to be booked on Tuesday. Because of a Texas law that Perry himself signed, he will not be afforded a hearing or trial, and will instead be immediately sentenced to death by public execution. In other states Perry’s overreach of authority would be seen as serious, but not a capitol offense. Perry remained defiant, and reiterated his innocence, but also seemed resigned to his fate saying, “Well folks, it’s a shame, but the law is the law. I guess I better start picking out my last meal. Ribs might be nice.”
Israel and Hamas have resumed airstrikes in the Gaza strip today, after their negotiated ceasefire came to an end. The resumption of violence casts serious doubts on the future of talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Citizens of Gaza were asked how they felt about this latest round of airstrikes. “The peace of the last few days was eerie. It was hard to get used to the lack of rocket fire and people bleeding in the streets,” said a Gaza resident. “It feels like home again,” added a woman named Mazal. “There’s just something about ducking behind rubble to avoid gunfire that makes this such a special place to live.”
President Obama returned to Washington on Sunday night, right in the middle of his two-week vacation to Martha’s Vineyard. The White House has been cagey about why the president came back to Washington, since he has been getting regular briefings on the situations in Iraq, Gaza and Ferguson, MO, while on vacation. Obama stopped briefly to address the media as he made his way across the White House lawn saying, “Look, everything is fine, no need to panic. I just came back because I forgot my boat shoes. I mean, I’m not going sailing in my loafers. Also, I was worried I left the stove on, so I’ll just check that while I’m here.”
Nouri al-Maliki has agreed to step down as Iraq’s Prime Minister. Maliki said he is not seeking a post in the new government and that he supports the nomination of Haider al-Abadi to succeed him. Let’s get to know Mr. Abadi.
Name: Haider al-Abadi
Nickname: ‘Haider Haider Haider Ho’
Prior Occupations: Electronic consultant engineer, Iraqi Minister of Communications, Lemonade Stand Owner 1960-61
Education: PhD from the University of Manchester, England
Favorite food: Bangers and Mash
Religious Affiliation: Shiite
Position on Beards: Keep them short and sweet
Biggest Influence: Grammie and Pop Pop
As an English speaker, he is expected to deal well with the U.S. and other Western nations. He’s been calling for a more inclusive government in Baghdad for some time, especially in the face of the recent violence. Mr. Abadi has plans to bring Iraq’s factions together, and wants to do a full-day team building retreat once he takes office with fun getting-to-know-you games, icebreaker activities, and maybe even a ropes course.
A group of people who suffer from ALS, also known as Lou Gerhig’s Disease, are raising money to help those who have been stricken with hypothermia as a result of the “Ice Bucket Challenge.” The challenge is to either pour a bucket of ice water over your head and then challenge others do the same, or make a donation to fight ALS. Those with ALS are now raising money to help pay for hospital costs for anyone who got hypothermia or frostbite doing the challenge. “I feel kind of guilty that someone got hurt trying to help those of us with ALS,” said Jerry Price. “Maybe one day we’ll eradicate both ALS and hypothermia.”
Reporters from all the major networks and newspapers, are doing all they can to get sent to Gaza, rather than Ferguson, Missouri. Police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson used helicopters, armored vehicles and the threat of arrests Wednesday to try to control protests in an area that’s been torn apart by racial tension, after police shot an unarmed black teenager this past weekend. Reporters from the Washington Post and the Huffington Post were arrested after they were asked to stop taking pictures while they were covering the violence. “I just rock, paper, scissored my colleague to see who got to go to Gaza or who had to go to Ferguson. I got Gaza, thank God,” said NPR’s Benjamin Pierce. “The cops tear gassed us last night. I’d so much rather be in Gaza right now. This place is the worst,” added Al Jazeera reporter, Malani Gregory.
CONSIDER OUR KNOWLEDGE NUMBER 70- This week we’re considering a look behind the scenes of our show with profiles of our voice actors and clips of the characters they play. We’ll also consider the life and work of the great Robin Williams.
In order to preserve some semblance of order and peace, Hamas and Israel are working on an agreement that would limit the fighting in Gaza to a “two on, three off” schedule. This idea was proposed after Hamas’ previous plan of only fighting on days of the week that end in ‘y.’ “We think this two on, three off thing will work. We’ll still get the necessary bombings in, but people will know that they’ll have three days of peace to get shopping and errands done,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “A two on, three off schedule works great for my brother-in-law Moshe who works in a physics lab.”
A new report out today shows that more Americans have posted pictures of kale to Instagram than pictures of their children. There is a whopping 12-1 difference in the number of kale pictures to pictures of children on the social media site. “Sure, I had some cute pics of my kids in Yellowstone, but this beautiful picture of three stalks of emerald green kale on my bamboo cutting board was more post-worthy,” said Kyle Simmons. The people polled for this report had hundreds of pictures of kale chips, pizzas, salads and smoothies, and scant pictures of their kids. “I literally had no idea my cousin had three kids because all she ever posts on Instagram are pictures of her green smoothies and salads with the hashtag #kalebaby,” commented Sarah Browning.