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The Week to Week News Quiz for 1/31/14

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I am happy to report that the State of the News Quiz is healthy and the outlook is good, at least if you take our Week to Week News Quiz and test your knowledge of the week's happenings.

Here are some random but real hints: He's hoping Jane Byrne isn't lurking around; if it worked for FDR and Lincoln, it should work for Obama; it's not Justin, but he'll benefit; and wax on, wax off.

1. Federal prosecutors this week announced plans to seek the death penalty against whom?
a. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri
b. NSA leaker Edward Snowden
c. Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
d. "Goodfellas" mobster Vincent Asaro

2. Before an ice storm shut down Atlanta, what did Mayor Kasim Reed tweet?
a. "Houston, we have a problem"
b. "Atlanta, we are ready for the snow"
c. "Where can I get some ice for my drink?"
d. "I want to skate to work"

3. In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, President Obama said he would do what to get around an obstructive Congress?
a. Expand the U.S. Supreme Court to get more amenable rulings for his priorities
b. Institute a military dictatorship backed by a Maoist insurgency
c. Call early midterm elections
d. Executive orders

4. Why has venture capitalist Tom Perkins come in for strong criticism this week?
a. He wrote negative things about his ex-wife, superstar author Danielle Steel, in a letter to the Financial Times
b. He compared criticism of America's rich to the Nazi persecution of Jews
c. He told MSNBC that ObamaCare "is worse than the Vietnam War"
d. He has invested $4 billion in a computer manufacturing plant in North Korea

5. In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, what do 55 percent of Americans support?
a. Withdrawing troops from South Korea
b. Supplying weapons to Ukraine's opposition parties
c. The legalization of marijuana
d. The retirement of Justin Bieber

6. In outgoing Chairman Ben Bernanke's final Federal Reserve meeting, what action did the group take?
a. Voted to proceed via executive orders to increase economic growth
b. Agreed to increase inflation by 5 percent to boost wages
c. Reduced its monthly stimulus purchases of bonds by an additional $10 billion
d. Raised interest rates to prevent a return of inflation

7. Who did not get name-checked in California Governor Jerry Brown's State of the State speech?
a. Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom
b. Philosopher George Santayana
c. Joseph from the Book of Genesis
d. His dog, Sutter

8. Following his State of the Union address, why did President Obama go on a speaking tour?
a. According to the Constitution, he can only issue executive orders when he is physically outside of the capital
b. He is seeking a mandate to increase the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court
c. He is promoting his plan to raise the minimum wage
d. The White House is being renovated

9. What 40-year veteran of the U.S. House of Representatives announced plans to retire?
a. Henry Waxman
b. Don Young
c. Nancy Pelosi
d. Steny Hoyer

10. What happened to the U.S. economy in the fourth quarter of 2013?
a. It shrank by a 2.1 percent annual rate
b. Unemployment rose to 8.1 percent
c. It produced zero growth
d. It grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate

BONUS. What did Republican U.S. Representative Michael Grimm do following President Obama's State of the Union speech?
a. He gave the Tea Party's official rebuttal speech, in which he said Obama was like "King Louis the Sixteenth"
b. He threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony and "break you in half, like a boy"
c. He resigned his office to join the Peace Corps
d. He filed impeachment charges against the president

Want the live news quiz experience? Join us Friday, February 21 in San Francisco for our next live Week to Week political roundtable with a news quiz and a social hour at The Commonwealth Club. Panelists include Debra J. Saunders, Dr. Larry Gerston, and C.W. Nevius.

ANSWERS: 1) c. 2) b. 3) d. 4) b. 5) c. 6) c. 7) a. 8) c. 9) a. 10) d. BONUS) b.

Explanations of the hints He's hoping Jane Byrne isn't lurking around: Jane Byrne was elected mayor of Chicago after the previous mayor, Michael Bilandic, was criticized for a subpar response to a big snowstorm; if it worked for FDR and Lincoln, it should work for Obama: FDR and Lincoln used executive orders for significant changes, including the Emancipation Proclamation; it's not Justin, but he'll benefit: Justin Bieber, who's had his legal run-ins due to pot use, might face one less charge if marijuana is legalized; and wax on, wax off: after 40 years in Congress, Henry Waxman is retiring.