Friday, August 8, 2008

The TR: Pakistan's Problems, Paris' Policies and Pretty Publicists

What could be the matter? we wondered as we slumped in our chair, yawning and cranky, reluctant to check on breaking news. Must be Obama-fatigue. Seems it's going around. Feel better soon, dearies, and read on for a Friday pick-me-up!

Forecast

Speaking of things that happen every four years that we tire of before they even begin, it's time once again for the Olympics! "There's excitement in the air over the Olympics," said David Letterman this week. "Also lead, arsenic, benzene..." We're more excited that football (American, natch) is only a month away, but our junior staff has caught the fever and all week they've been blogging about the Beijing Games -- check it out.

With Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on the brink of impeachment, expect an explosion of stories about the implications for the U.S. presidential contest (with points to whichever candidate seems best prepared to handle the fallout) and the war on terror. Pakistan has becomes the Rubik's cube of foreign policy issues and, unlike in the '80s, it's not going away any time soon.

Expect a fiercer hurricane season this year along the Atlantic coast, say National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists. Talk about your inconvenient truths! Could a renewed focus on climate change be far behind, complete with PowerPoint slides?

According to what looks like a clever White House press leak, the Iraqi government has proposed a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. combat troops by 2010. McCain and the GOP now get to stump how their policies have won the war. Dems must point out that the Iraqis are more or less adopting a plan they've been championing for some time.

Our friends at Campaign for America's Future have launched an economic war room to monitor and frame the debate on the current economic crisis. Our resident TR Economists applaud the move as a way for progressives to hone their strategy for helping working class Americans. With everything on the line this year, it's sure to be a vital tool for economic messaging, and a great excuse to quip lines from old war movies at each other.

Esteemed blogger Andrew Sullivan has challenged the netroots community to recaptcha (teehee!) the influence they had during the primary season. His "Take Back the Campaign" YouTube contest seeks original submissions for the most scathing-but-accurate attack ad on both sides. If you send in a video, send it to us too and you could get the TR Bump!

Finally, guess whose career is over?

The Week That Was

Paris Hilton schooled the McCain campaign on how to do an attack ad. Um... ouch. Not only did she avenge her inclusion in a negative McCain ad, but she also intrigued Beltway wonks with her new energy policy (did we REALLY just write that!?). Here at TR Central we're captivated by her newfound viral-video-fueled candidacy. Put Paris in the debate! 'Cause... that's hot.

Have you seen the tire gauge McCain's using to mock Obama's energy policy? Très snarky. Our suggestion for a comeback: little band-aids to represent the GOP's solution for Americans who lack health insurance. Zing!

But sometimes the best attack ads against Republicans come from... Republicans. The obnoxious fratboy Facebook page of the son of Bob Schaffer (GOP Senatorial candidate from Colorado) is loaded with Neanderthal (yet kegger-friendly) right-wing slogans. Colorado Democrats preserved the page and let the blogosphere handle the rest.

Rule #1 of courting ex-Hillary voters: Don't nominate your wife for a topless biker beauty pageant. McCain learned that the hard way after he offered up his old lady at the famed Sturgis rally in South Dakota. Hmm, did trading her in the parking lot for a case of cigarettes not seem Presidential?

To dramatize their call for Congress to reconvene and debate energy policy, GOP House members have been holding phantom sessions in the House chambers. (I see dead legislation?) The jury's still out on whether the "negligent Democratic leadership" message beats out the "pathetic GOP stunt" message. On the horizon: a government shutdown?

The TR faithful will get a kick out of this: DC Fishbowl has once again announced its finalists for the leading Hottest Media Types in Washington. Get yourselves acquainted with the beautiful people you'll call Boss one day. The Queen is inexplicably missing from the list, but royalty needs no shallow glories.

Scorecard

As we predicted, Dan Kaminsky became a decidedly under-the-radar messiah for his role in highlighting the DNS flaw that could have proved fatal for the security of the internet. Take a bow, Danny Boy -- TR Tech Support salutes you!

Feedback

Lately we've been hearing a lot of "Where's my TR?? I need my fix!!" We work hard every Friday afternoon to get you the scoop as quick as we can, even if it's at the end of your workday. So fear not! If it's Friday, that means snark.

Also, the Queen has added many new Facebook friends who have all 'fessed up to being loyal TR fans. Hmm, perhaps it's time for a TR page on our new favorite social network? We'll petition our junior staff, so they can make it for us.

Enjoy this auspicious (08/08/08) day, and have a great weekend!

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