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February 28, 2012

When most people look at Rebekah Speight's most famous possession, they see a three-year-old Chicken McNugget. Speight, on the other hand, sees George Washington, and dozens of bidders on eBay agree with her. The Nebraska woman stored the McDonald's morsel in her freezer for years, and is now auctioning it to help send local kids to church summer camp. The high bid is a whopping $4,350 — and climbing. "I was totally amazed that it really does look like Washington's profile," says Tricia Yanney at the Family Worship Center, the beneficiary of George McWashington's auction. "God works in unbelievable ways." The Week Staff

7:42 a.m. ET

Outgoing Ohio Gov. John Kasich was the last Republican to drop out of the 2016 primary against Donald Trump, and three years later his team is considering giving it another go in 2020, Politico reports. The question partially comes down to whether or not to challenge Trump in the primary, or run a campaign as an independent, with hopes high that the issue will be resolved by the president simply choosing not to run again due to a lack of interest or legal issues.

Kasich has "actually been pretty straightforward about it," said Kasich 2016 campaign adviser Charlie Black. "He would like to run again if he sees an opening. And if Trump runs again, there's no opening. But if Trump doesn't run, there is one."

While a Kasich 2020 bid is a long shot no matter how he decides to run, the governor "feels a responsibility to fill the role of the conservative conscience," Politico writes. Refusing to close any door yet, he is returning to New Hampshire in April, and will appear in Washington over the weekend for the National Governors Association meeting. "Anybody on the Republican side who's even imagining themselves possibly being in some kind of a race in 2020 has to start taking action sometime really soon," explained New Hampshire Republican Party chair Jennifer Horn.

Still, it's an uphill battle. "John Kasich sounds too reasonable to run in a Trump-era GOP primary," The Washington Post recently wrote.

In the 2016 primary, Kasich walked away with a single state — Ohio — and finished in second behind Trump in New Hampshire. He scored just 2 percent in Iowa, where Trump took nearly a quarter of the vote. Jeva Lange

7:14 a.m. ET

Oprah Winfrey was on Thursday's Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Kimmel cut straight to the chase: "So you're definitely not running for president?" "Where do I look into the camera?" Oprah asked. "I am definitely not running for president." The audience booed. "You know, you give a speech and then you sit down, and you have, surprisingly, started to run for president," she said. The buzz started as soon as she walked offstage at the Golden Globes, and "I was kind of first thrown by it — it's a humbling thing to have people think that you can run the country, it's a humbling thing," she added. "I'm the kind of person who tries to listen to signs. I think, 'Well, am I supposed to run the country? I don't think so!'"

Oprah said she found out that Trump had tweeted about her 60 Minutes focus group when director Ava DuVernay called her, and she never considered tweeting back at Trump, "not a second." When Kimmel offered to use her Twitter account to hit back at Trump, Oprah protested. "No, you don't win by meeting any kind of negativity head-on," she said. "We've already lost, though, in general," Kimmel said. "You just have to say, 'Well, I don't know what that was, but all right,'" Oprah said. She explained that she is not, in fact, "insecure," as Trump claimed, but she has hung out with him at boxing matches and, oddly, Maya Angelou's 80th birthday party, which Oprah held at Mar-a-Lago.

Oprah explained to Kimmel a little bit of what life is like as Oprah: She doesn't answer her phone, for example, but she does pay her own bills. You can learn more below. Peter Weber

4:46 a.m. ET

"The national conversation continues to be how to keep our children safe from gun violence," Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show, and "for the president, for the Republican Party, for the NRA, every option is on the table — except fewer guns." President Trump did a lot of coerced listening on Wednesday, but he "actually does have a suggestion to deal with the number of guns — he wants more of them," Colbert said, specifically in the hands of teachers. "Yes, just arm the teachers — I'm sure it's in the school budget," he said. "'Sorry your school doesn't have enough copies of To Kill a Mockingbird, but good news: We're giving you something that can kill any bird.'"

Trump tried to explain his position on Twitter, and Colbert read through the tweetstorm, injecting commentary. "Yes, Trump never said to give guns to teachers willy-nilly — I mean, can you imagine what this country would be like if anyone could get a gun?" he deadpanned. "Yeah, that's what 'sickos' are known for: logical reasoning," he said later, and he wasn't sure about the "weapons talented" teachers, either: "Boy, Jim, you sure are handy with guns — have you thought about working with children?"

In the name of comedy, The Late Show did find one teacher enthusiastic about getting her Trump gun.

The Florida legislature and the gun lobby both think God has an important role in the gun debate, Colbert said, playing a clip of NRA chief Wayne LaPierre speaking at CPAC on Thursday. "Guns are bestowed by God?" he asked. "Well, I guess we're going to have to update the Sistine Chapel, then. Less Michelangelo, more Quentin Tarantino. It really makes you wonder — is God pro-gun or not?" The Late Show God appeared on the ceiling to answer that: "Say hello to my little friend — no background check, and I'm a vengeful loner with a messiah complex!" Watch below. Peter Weber

3:51 a.m. ET

On Thursday, President Trump enthusiastically backed the idea of arming certain teachers in each school as a way of preventing school shootings. On Twitter and in a meeting with law enforcement, state, and local officials, Trump argued that if 10 to 40 percent of American teachers carried a weapon in school, it would "solve the problem instantly," adding, "We have to harden our schools, not soften them."

As an incentive for teachers, "you give them a little bit of a bonus, so practically for free you have now made the school into a hardened target," Trump said, echoing language used by the NRA, which has advocated arming teachers since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. (Right before Trump's meeting, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre had told fellow conservatives at CPAC that instead of passing new gun laws, lawmakers should enforce the background check system and "harden our schools" with armed guards.) Teachers unions and law enforcement officials denounced the idea as dangerous and impractical, a costly burden on taxpayers and teachers alike.

Trump has proposed other measures, like raising the age limit for purchasing a rifle to 21 from 18 — opposed by the NRA — doing something about mental health, and strengthening background checks, but he has ruled out banning military-style weapons. And he has embraced no idea so passionately as encouraging trained teachers to carry concealed weapons. "Not surprised the NRA reeled President Trump back in," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday evening. "Just amazed at how fast it happened." Peter Weber

2:32 a.m. ET

After last week's murder of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, President Trump met briefly with some hospitalized survivors of the shooting, then on Wednesday he hosted more survivors and their families for a "listening session." At the White House event, Trump had a card with five bullet points, reportedly written for him by communications director Hope Hicks, the last of which read "I hear you."

The note card has earned Trump punch lines about feigned empathy, but some of the participants found it off-putting. "Everything I said was directly from the heart, and he had to write down 'I hear you,'" student Sam Zeif tells The New York Times. He was slightly more cutting on MSNBC: "I know I was heard because I saw it on Trump's little card — 'I hear you' — but I don't think I was felt by him."

Samantha Fuentes, shot in both legs during the Parkland attack and left with shrapnel behind her right eye, also graded Trump low on the empathy scale. When Trump called her hospital room, she told the Times, "he said he heard that I was a big fan of his, and then he said, 'I'm a big fan of yours too.' I'm pretty sure he made that up. ... Talking to the president, I've never been so unimpressed by a person in my life. He didn't make me feel better in the slightest."

Other people had more positive reactions. Andrew Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow, was killed in the attack, said that Trump "showed us nothing but love" in a private meeting before the listening session. "The guy really cared, you know? He flew us in, he had a bus waiting for us, he made time for us," he said, going so far as to keep a photo of Meadow and sign his son's MAGA hat. Peter Weber

1:27 a.m. ET

It has been two weeks, and President Trump still has not released the Democratic rebuttal to the memo compiled by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and nobody is sure why. The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to release the Democratic memo, but Trump said it contains classified information (he ignored similar concerns when he approved release of the Nunes memo, with no redactions). On Thursday, Stephen Colbert's Late Show found a creative way to remind everyone that the Democratic memo is still being withheld.

The Democratic memo apparently shows, among other things, that the FBI did not rely on the Trump-Russia dossier to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, as the Nunes memo claims. So Colbert had the dossier interview the Democratic memo, depicted as blindfolded and in prison. But The Late Show throws in a twist at the end. Watch below. Peter Weber

12:57 a.m. ET

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) entered the lion's den Wednesday night, attending a CNN town hall on school shootings. "Rubio tried his best to explain his positions, but you could tell he was totally out of sync with the rest of the room," Trevor Noah said on Thursday's Daily Show, playing Rubio getting cheers for saying you'd have to ban every semiautomatic rifle in America to make an assault weapons ban work. "That was such an epic fail — Rubio said the solution like it was the problem," Noah said. Town halls are usually a dud, but "these kids held Rubio's feet to the fire so hard that they got him to do something that most conservatives hate: evolve."

President Trump didn't attend the town hall, "but he did host his own listening session in the Mar-a-Lago of the north, the White House," Noah said, armed with a note card that reminded him "what emotions to feel," notably, empathy. "I feel bad for Donald Trump," he said. "Because you know that we never would have seen that note if he just had bigger hands." Then he laughed: "Seriously, the guy's a 'stable genius' but he can't remember to say 'I hear you'? It's a listening session!"

On Thursday, Trump proposed paying teachers "bonuses" to carry guns in class. "America really is a special place," Noah said. "For years, teachers have been asking for more pay and politicians have said they don't have enough money, but now the president's, like, 'If you're willing to cap some fools, we're gonna make it rain.'" He sighed: "There are so many practical issues with this plan that I don't even know where to begin, but honestly, it's not even worth going through them all. Because once you decide that Ms. Flenderson needs to be locked and loaded during English class, you're not trying to solve the problem anymore, you're admitting defeat." Watch below. Peter Weber

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