Governor Chris Christie Kills Spider, PETA Calls it a Thoughtless Act
Governor Chris Christie posted a video on YouTube that shows him killing a spider during a visit to a fourth grade class. TPM reports that PETA called the incident a "thoughtless act."
PETA's Ingrid Newkirk issued the following statement: "He probably did it without thinking. Some people put the spider outside, but spiders are often scary to people, and that can prevent them from pondering their worth."
Christie could have spared the spider's life and carried it outside to safety, but at least he didn't "staple it" like a couple boys can be heard suggesting in the video Christie uploaded. Take a look:
Syria Used Chemical Weapons According to U.S. Intelligence
The Syrian government has used chemical weapons twice against rebel forces in the ongoing civil war according to U.S. intelligence, which is horrific news. Senator John McCain says the U.S. needs to help rebels in Syria by establishing a No Fly Zone and provide weapons. The White House says the intelligence is not solid enough for ground forces or a No Fly Zone. The White House wants the U.N. to investigate. Take a look:
Letter Sent to Senator Roger Wicker Contained Ricin
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker was reportedly the target of a letter tainted with ricin, a deadly poison. Politicoreports that the envelope of the letter tested positive for Ricin. Wicker has represented Mississippi in the United States Senate since December 2007.
CNN says the envelope tainted with ricin was intercepted at Capitol's off-site mail facility in Washington.
Politico says other senators are being briefed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and FBI Director Robert Mueller.
The CDC has a FAQ page about ricin here. Ricin is a deadly poison made from castor beans. The CDC says ricin can come "in the form of a powder, a mist, or a pellet, or it can be dissolved in water or weak acid."
The signs and symptoms vary depending on the type of ricing exposure - inhalation, ingestion or skin and eye exposure. The CDC FAQ says ricin is unlikely to be absorbed through normal skin. The CDC says "death from ricin poisoning could take place within 36 to 72 hours of exposure, depending on the route of exposure (inhalation, ingestion, or injection) and the dose received."
Sen. Wicker issued the following statement: "This matter is part of an ongoing investigation by the United States Capitol Police and FBI. I want to thank our law enforcement officials for their hard work and diligence in keeping those of us who work in the Capitol complex safe. Gayle and I appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers."
White House April's Fool's Joke Features Kid President
The White House shared this video on its YouTube channel with the message, "A Special Message From the President." Kid President appears at the official White House podium and says, "It looks like you were expecting somebody else. April Fool's on all of y'all. I'm Kid President and I hope everybody has an awesome day."
Secretary of State John Kerry talked about the problems with Syria. He says the longer the civil war lasts, the greater the damage is to the region. He said the potential of dangerous chemical weapons falling into the hands of extremists also increases. Recently there have been allegations of chemical attacks by both the Syrian regime and the rebels.
Kerry also warned of the growing refugee problem. Kerry says the U.S. is not standing in the way of other countries that have decided to provide arms to the rebels. Take a look:
SNL Skit: President Obama Explains the Effects of the Sequester Budget Cuts
Saturday Night Live opened with a skit about the sequester and who the budget cuts will affect most. Jay Pharoah plays President Obama making a speech about the budget, which he explains will require sacrifices from everyone, including the first family: "My wife Michelle will only do four television appearances a week." He then had a succession of guests who explain how the cuts will affect their jobs. The Border Patrol agent (Bill Hader) explains that "We're going to let every tenth Mexican run across the border." The female astronaut (Kate McKinnon) explains that their spacesuit helmets will no longer have glass, so they'll have to hold their breath on spacewalks.
Aidy Bryant was a teacher who got fired from an inner city school. She was actually happy about her job loss noting, "This is greatest day of my entire life. Good luck reading Beowulf, you monsters." Obama then brought out a construction worker, a sailor, a cop and a Native American to spell out the cuts, YMCA style. Take a look:
Stephen Colbert gave his take on Senator Marco Rubio's Watergate moment when he lunged off camera for a drink of water during his response to the State of the Union address. Colbert went much further than Rubio in his quest for water. He never broke eye contact with the camera, even as he climbed over his desk and dragged himself across the stage to get the bottle which was perched on a far bookshelf. Take a look:
Saturday Night Live took aim at Senator Marco Rubio's infamous water gulping incident when he gave the Republican part's response to the State of the Union speech. Rubio (Taran Killam) was a guest on Weekend Update to talk to Seth Meyers about the incident. Seth kept asking if he wanted some water before he spoke, but he said he was fine. Of course, he wasn't fine. He was parched. Killam is quite funny as Rubio. Take a look:
John Kerry Chokes Up While Giving Farewell Speech to the Senate
Senator John Kerry said farewell to the Senate today in an hour long speech. Kerry is leaving to become the next Secretary of State, after being confirmed by his colleagues. He replaces Hillary Clinton, who retired from the position. In this clip, Kerry chokes up when he talks about how the desk he's using belonged once to President Kennedy and then to Ted Kennedy. In the self-deprecating speech, Kerry noted that the best lessons come not from victory but from picking one's self up after defeat. Referring to his defeat in the presidential election against George Bush, Kerry joked that 61 million voters voted to keep him in the Senate. Take a look:
Sarah Palin is leaving Fox News after three years as a political contributor. There are are rumors that she was not offered a new contract and rumors that she was offered one and turned it down. ABC News says Sarah Palin made $1 million a year at Fox. It isn't clear what she will do next, but The Weekwrites that she "wasn't a fad." The Christian Science Monitororeports that Palin plans to "shake up the GOP machine." Take a look:
George W. Bush Presidential Center to Open May 1, 2013
The George W. Bush Presidential Center has announced the date for its invitation-only dedication ceremony as Thursday, April 25. The public opening date will be May 1, 2013. The center houses the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute. It is located on 23 acres on the campus of Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas. The 226,565-square-foot building was designed for (LEED) platinum certification.
The George W. Bush Library and Museum is operated by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). It will house archives from the Bush Administration, including 80 terabytes of digital information and over 200 million e-mails. The museum will also contain more than 43,000 artifacts from the Bush presidency.
Photo: George W. Bush Presidential Center, Jeff Buehner
Senator Bill Nelson Hunts Pythons in the Everglades
Senator Bill Nelson has joined the hunt for pythons in the Everglades. Florida launched the 2013 Python Challenge to help reduce the number of pythons in the Everglades. The snakes are consuming native creatures and are considered a major pest. There are thought to be as many as 150,000 of them. However, sending regular citizens armed with weapons into the swamps to find them doesn't really seem like the best eradication method. Senator Nelson says we have to find better methods to find the pythons. Nelson says the snakes will come out of the swamps and invade neighborhoods next. Take a look:
Former President Bill Clinton weighed in on gun control at the Consumer Electronics Show yesterday.
Clinton said, "I grew up in this hunting culture, but this is nuts. Why does anybody need a 30 round clip for a gun? Why does anybody need one of those things that carries a 100 bullets. The guy in Colorado had one of those. Half of all the mass killings in the United States have occurred since the assault weapons ban expired in 2005. Half of all in the history of the country."
This was not the only subject Clinton addressed. He also discussed smartphones at the Consumer Electronics Show. AllThingsD reports that Clinton thinks the world needs less assault weapons, but much more smartphones. He wants handing out smartphones in the third world to be a priority in world humanitarian efforts.
Here is a part of Clinton's speech about guns at CES. Take a look:
Governor Chris Christie Blasts John Boehner for Not Passing Sandy Relief Bill
New Jersey Governor lit into Speaker of the House John Boehner today. Christie is furious that the House of Representatives dithered around so long on the fiscal cliff bill that they didn't vote on the aid package to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. The governor wants around $60 billion to rebuild after the devastating hurricane. Governor Christie says that people's lives are on hold and that they aren't in their own homes and it disgusts him that Congress is playing politics when people are suffering. He really blasted Boehner and the House. Take a look:
Kim Jong-un Talks Reunification and Economy in Surprise New Year's Speech
North Korea leader Kim Jong-un made a surprise New Year's speech.BBC Newsreports that it was the first such speech broadcast on North Korean state TV in 19 years. Kim Jong-un talked about reunification with South Korea in the surprise speech. He also said the economy is North Korea's top issue. He also mentioned being a "strong communist country." Take a look: