For the annals of most-absurd photos in the White House Flickr stream:
The White House says the photo shows Guinness Book of World Records holder John Cassidy performing a balloon act for first lady Michelle Obama, but it looks like a cousin of Violet Beauregard got loose in the White House.
Cassidy is a professional magician and balloon artist who holds several world records for balloon sculpting, including one he received in 2007 for sculpting 747 balloons in one hour.
He was visiting the White House for the first lady’s attempt on the South Lawn to break the Guinness World Records title for the most people doing jumping jacks in 24 hours.
Other selections from the White House Flickr stream this week are far more sober: President Obama meeting with the national security team in the Situation Room, and the president visiting a wounded warrior for a Purple Heart presentation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, for example.