We're beginning to take on the sickly, pasty pallor of winter. The brush of weak morning light already hurts our skin as we scurry to our desk; it's dark as a tomb by the time we drag our body away. But, like a creature of the night, our mind is sharpening. (If you're not a teenage girl, you may not get the reference. Oh, wait...) Read on and let our rapier snark at least bring a little light into your day.
With a more specific set of demands in place, Congress may finally hold that mythical auto-bailout vote next week. During this week's second round of testimony, automakers gave Democrats better and more apologetic language to sell to the public... and made a bigger ask. But never mind that last point. We were too busy digesting the message (paraphrasing here): "If we fail, get in line, taxpayers, behind our other creditors, if you want any money back." The nerve! Look for continued outrage from the Lou Dobbs/cable TV cadre of semi-right-wing populist rabble-rousers. Our culture minister walked by the newspaper stand yesterday and broke into a cold sweat at the sight of Jeb Bush gracing the front of several newspapers.
Are the Bushes getting into position to tag-team on the national political stage? Seems so, as the Republican base consolidates around Jeb for Florida's newly opening 2010 senate seat. That's right, the cascade of Bushes and Clintons continues. Notice the ink on those "Change" posters starting to fade already?
Ok, so we’ve got Bushes and Clintons back in the public light -- that only leaves… Kennedys! Late-breaking word has it that Caroline has been offered Hillary’s seat by Governor Patterson. But she’s apparently still mulling it over. Stay tuned on this; we’re as excited as all of you!
While we're talking about Senate elections, it's said privately (albeit not too) that if Hardball's Chris Matthews wanted to throw his hat in for the Pennsylvania Senate race, he'd have to quit MSNBC almost immediately. That means a huge punditry hole opening up for up-and-coming experts and writers to get some pre-prime-time play. Publicists, stay on your A-game!
With Saxby Chambliss' victory in this week's Georgia runoff comes a kind word or two from the victor about Sarah Palin's terrific efforts in firing up the base. We knew she wasn't going away... no one is that lucky. (However, our culture minister thinks Sarah's still on the edge after snubbing Oprah. No, seriously... OPRAH! The Big O is still trying to nab that interview, but unlike the Queen of Snark, the Queen of Media has too much pride to pursue her quarry for long.) That Sarah single-handedly broke Obama's political momentum during the elections is a fantasy that Republicans will likely buy into (half-heartedly, but still) in the coming weeks. She's really here to stay, folks. Get the popcorn.
The Bush administration gets one final crack at North Korea next week during the non-proliferation talks, marking the end of eight years of misery in the State Department. By all indications, this is a last-ditch attempt to establish some sort of legacy before the Obama people take over. Expect a foreign policy statement from O's people and Hillary to establish what will be done to follow up with these talks. Sneaky devils, ain't they?
In other foreign policy news, expect the temperature of the India-Pakistan relationship to continue to bounce between high simmer and boiling point after the attacks in Mumbai last week that killed an estimated 172 people. The mainstream media only offered a little commentary on this, probably because it happened around Turkey Day (sigh... priorities?), but the Queen found her best news source to be that diva of the blogosphere from culturekitchen (hi, Liza!) by way of -- surprise -- Twitter. Props to the social media maven for keeping us focused on the news, and for underscoring how bizarrely useful Twitter continues to be.
Do you feel that surge of energy taking the nip out of the December air? You guessed it: D.C. is preparing for a January siege of spectators, media mavens, possibly Shakira, and, oh yeah, those of us who already live around here. Oprah (two placements in one TR!) is on her way for either an Inauguration-themed show or to catch Sarah in a surprise maneuver, and ground rules are being mapped out for the intense security. So what will TR Central be doing? Looks like you'll have to drop by and see us just outside the parade route to find out. We'll bring the Irish coffee (for warmth, natch) if you bring the s'mores!
The Week That Was
Stretch is in! Looks like David Gregory is the new moderator for Meet the Press. While NBC tries to find out exactly who leaked that tidbit to the HuffPo, we're very pleased with the decision. As an American University alum and longtime White House correspondent, he's a kindred spirit: someone who understands where to turn off the Beltway to grab a great cocktail. The man just knows Washington.
In an effort to highlight New York City's blasé bureaucracy, The Daily News stole the Empire State Building using a handful of bogus documents that were approved by City Hall with nobody batting an eye. Bravo! TR Central can't remember the last time such a brazen act of muckraking proved to be so fun and educational at the same time.
This week, press outlets from across the country descended on Atlanta to sniff around CNN's new proposed wire service, creatively named "CNN Wire." (How much were you paid for that divinely inspired moniker, marketing guys?) Already the AP is fighting back, calling the cheaper service, "Remarkably, Abysmally Written." Ouch. But these fossils better cast about for fresh audiences instead of trying to drag-race their opponents with bitter sniping over the shrinking number of existing print-news consumers. Maybe the TR should start our own? We could call it... TR Wire! Gosh, we're brilliant.
YouTube gave the anti-choice crowd more to yell about this week when it removed Live Action Films' low-road "exposé" on Planned Parenthood. The outrage fomenting over this and the new gift certificates available from PP represent the vanguard of wingnut activity. With the Democratic Party taking control of the national dialogue on choice, it won't be over soon.
The economy is tanking and Obama does not quite feel our pain. The President Elect loses points on the sensitivity meter as he bedecks wife's finger with $30,000 diamond ring as "thank you" for putting up with his marathon presidential run.
And surely you've heard Ed Rendell's offhand remarks about how Janet Napolitano is suited for Homeland Security because she has no family, and, therefore, "no life"? TR Central will have to check our top secret government sources, but we're pretty sure there are a fair amount of fathers guarding this nation. And c'mon: we've still got Sarah up in Alaska, keeping us safe from Russia, don't we?
Hey, we were scarfing turkey and pumpkin pie at Grandma's last week, too! When we see you on the holiday party circuit around town, you'd better have your snark on!