How Smart and Up-To-Date Are You? Take the Quick News-Intelligence Test


What shocking news have you read over the last week? Let the AlterNet News Quiz help refresh your memory. All of the questions below come from stories that have appeared on

1. Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-MI) released a 204-page report on Monday that excoriated social programs started under the War on Poverty as miserable failures. But his report contradicts his statements by touting programs as effective and efficient. Which of the following programs did the Ryan report single out for praise?
a) The Veterans Administration's single-payer universal health care has helped veterans with physical and mental disabilities receive the care they need.
b) Rural Housing Assistance has helped impoverished elderly homeowners stay in their homes and remain independent.
c) The Earned Income Tax Credit puts cash in the hands of families that need it.
d) All of the above.
2. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, is doubling-down on his support of medical cannabis. In an op-ed, Gupta expressed outrage that:
a) Marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no medical value, when tons of research has proven otherwise.
b) The President has acknowledged that cannabis poses less harm than alcohol but allows ignorant ideologues to keep pot illegal.
c) Politicians in bed with Big Pharma will not jeopardize their campaign contributions by allowing inexpensive, easy to grow weed to be used medicinally.
d) All of the above.
3. This Week in "The Pope Says the Darnedest Things" brings us this surprising for a Pontiff statement:
a) The Pope said that the Catholic Church could recognize same-sex civil unions.
b) Pope Francis said pornography could be useful for priests.
c) He thinks sex is not merely procreative but also the bond that helps us achieve love at the highest level.
d) All of the above.
4. Conservative activists and their money are converging in Maryland to set their goals and agenda and hear from the leading lights of the Republican Party.  Which of the following statements was actually uttered by  a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)  headliner in the recent past?
a) Homosexuals choose to go to hell because they choose to practice sex that they know full well is forbidden in the Bible.--Rick Perry, 2008
b) If the President is a real American, let him prove it, by golly, by taking a live lie detector test right on the air.--Sarah Palin
c) Gun abolitionists would've given this country away to the Indians and the Brits.--Wayne LaPierre 2013
d) Contraception is a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.--Rick Santorum, 2011
5. Scientists now believe that the bacteria in our gut, collectively called our microbiome, is a huge, ever-changing universe of billions of microbes as important to health and well-being as a vital human organ. It has even been called a second genome and a second brain. In fact, when the microbiome is out of whack, it can lead to which of the following conditions?
a) Asthma and other allergic diseases such as hay fever and eczema.
b) Mood disorders, including eating and sleep disorders.
c) Obesity.
d) All of the above.
6.Labradoodles, the Labrador retriever-poodle mixes that are so popular these days, are being overbred to meet an insatiable demand for hypoallergenic, low-maintenance dogs. But this is creating unforeseen consequences. What problems are the proliferation of labradoodles creating?
a) Puppy mills, those factory farms for companion animals that keep dogs in wire cages their whole lives, have gotten into the doodle game, indiscriminately breeding labradoodles that are really mixes of several different breeds.
b) People are dumping their doodles when they realize that they're live beings that require nurturing and care.
c) Too many doodles have genetic health problems such as megaesophagus, which can cause them to choke on their food.
d) All of the above.
7. The Dept. of Homeland Security is making it official: It plans on treating the border between Arizona and Mexico the way Israel treats the disputed Gaza strip. The same company the Israeli military uses has announced a $145 million contract with Homeland Security to help secure Arizona's borders from illegal crossers. How does it plan to do this?
a) It is deploying israeli sharpshooters trained in Krav Maga to patrol the border on Harleys.
b) It plans to deploy drones that will shoot every suspected border crosser in their extremities on sight.
c) It will build a series of strategically placed look-out towers.
d) All of the above.
8. The thriving 1 percent is taking a cue from Downton Abbey and is hiring servants. The latest status symbol among the very rich is a home staff--butler, maid, driver, etc. But if you're thinking of joining the servant class, you should know that:
a) Maids make a median income of less than $20,000 a year.
b) Butlers can make $200,000 a year, but only if they're willing to give up their lives and be at the beck and call of their bosses 24/7.
c) You may have a maid/butler boss as housekeeping companies are urging rich homeowners to hire one maid per every 3,000 square feet of property owned.
d) All of the above.
9. A report on who gets arrested and convicted for marijuana possession in Chicago discovered the following:
a) Blacks account for over 85 percent of all marijuana possession convictions.
b) Whites account for 90 percent of all "warnings" cops give out for pot possession.
c) Techies make up 95 percent of all pot smokers of any race.
d) All of the above.
10. Cracking the job market in the United States has been increasingly touch since the recession. Labor force participation has dropped significantly as job opportunities remain low. But new research paints an even gloomier picture. According to the Economic Policy Institute, there are now 5.8 million workers who are not in the labor force or who have given up looking for work completely. What else did the EPI find?
a) Two-thirds of the unemployed who have given up are under 55 years old.
b) Two-thirds of those looking for work from their laptops end up addicted to Internet porn.
c) Two thirds of the unemployed owe more than $100,000 in student loans.
d) All of the above.
Answers: 1)d; 2)a; 3)a; 4)d; 5)d; 6)d; 7)c; 8)a; 9)a; 10)a.
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