Friday, December 18, 2009

The TR: Cutting Down Healthcare, Decorating Bernanke and Returning the Gift of Joe Lieberman

Dear President Obama: We're scared. Not of these people in banana suits. Of the Republicans who are actually embracing this tea-bagging thing -- and NOT just the crazy ones. Your own party has been nervous and uncomfortable for weeks now, and it's starting to boil over. We're looking to you for a comforting fist-bump or two, sir. As a country.

Forecast

It's been a while since we truly snarked it up, and holy crap! What is happening? First off, Copenhagen. A "perturbed" Obama and an emphatic Hillary delivered speeches encouraging compromise from developing nations (spec. China), but nothing has been set in stone just yet, even though peeps are scrambling today for a last-minute deal on the "Copenhagen Accord." Watch for coverage, as talks are expected to last long into the night. Thom Yorke from Radiohead is asking world leaders to... why the hell is Thom Yorke in Copenhagen?

SNOW! Ack! House reps are fleeing Copenhagen so they won't get stranded overseas. Of course, DC flips out over heavy rain, so just the TALK of multiple inches of snow is making everyone paranoid -- even when they're on entirely different CONTINENTS. Don't believe us? Go check your Twitter feed.

Congress has been hustling on last-minute "not healthcare" votes so they can go home and be with their families or whatever, and that means February is gonna be juuust great. This clusterf%$# is unfortunately making a lot of us miss important votes, like this one where Repubs blocked war funding to delay healthcare legislation, or this one putting increased sanctions on Iran.

Next up: healthcare. It's been pretty much apeshit, what with throwdowns between Ben Nelson and Senate Democrats to hit the 60-majority, and the loss of the Medicare buy-in. Tensions are so high in the Senate that even holding Senators to their time limits is causing "scandal" and "funny Kanye spoofs." Lieberman, already pissing off pretty much everybody, may have endangered the bill's passage. And it's diluted to the point that attempts to really reform healthcare are getting lost. Kruggie has some choice words for progressives and the obstructionists that are f%$#ing up the process, adding to the split in the progressive camp between scrappin' the whole thing and passing it no matter what.

Here's a forecast for ya: the Royal Advisor and Queenie will feel confused when they see this giant bubble poking out of the top of the Hirshhorn. Art? Is THAT art? Someone explain this to us!

The Week That Was

TIME's Person of the Year was NOT Queenie, shockingly -- it was the Wizard of Oz Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve Chairman whom no one thinks deserved it. Maybe he should have gotten a Nobel Prize instead? Hey-oh!

In news that crossed our desks, made us go "WTF" and then promptly fell off our radar, Michael Steele is pretty much the coolest boss ever and Berlusconi, the Italian Premier, got punched in the face. Yep -- the world has pretty much gone to hell.

But wait! Hot damn! Marriage equality in DC, y'all! At least ONE cool thing happened.

But, oh no, guess who got hacked? Was anybody awake to see Twitter defaced by the Iranian Cyber Army?

Queenie is a Navy brat, and gets to hear all the time about the REAL military experience -- thanks, Dad! That stuff is HARD. Things go wrong, systems get compromised, Jack Bauer gets involved. It's very real. But everyone loves a good hacking story. Hearing about insurgents intercepting video feeds from Predator drones just made Queenie think of this. These stories have and will get published, so don't flip out, ok?

There are so many "Top ____ of 2009" lists right now! For grammar nerds, the year in media corrections. For journalism nerds, the top 10 stories you missed AND the top 50 headlines of the year. For the snarkiest, the top 10 worst predictions. Screw it: here's the top 10 everything of 2009, ok? Now be good and waste the rest of your workday nicely, kids!

Interweb Tomfoolery

To those who put up Christmas Trees: your tree is now on Twitter, and he is PISSED.

Queenie watched 24 obsessively for the first few seasons (can you tell from all the Jack Bauer references this week?), but it's been a while since it was any good. And THIS is what she missed. "WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR... SANTA?!"

This isn't really web-related but it's been making the rounds today: a four-year-old got drunk and stole Christmas so he could be with his daddy in jail. We really couldn't make that up.

Here, this will make you feel better: the rockin'-est Nativity scene ever. (Although for the record, we are NOT pro-Chris Brown. We're actually pro-Stephen Colbert, who is NOT pro-bears, although this bear is pro-lions and tigers, and that is awesome.)

Finally, speaking of tigers, Queenie's Tiger Woods Mistress Name is Tiff Smith from Germany. The Royal Advisor's is Mary Lee from Alabama. What's yours?

Scorecard

Didja have a nice time partying with us? Thank you SO MUCH for helping us celebrate our brand new Queenie-boo! (Was way too mortified to make a decent speech, but loved all the bowing down and handkissing, natch.) We sure are lucky to have such amazing Royal Subjects!

Find Queenie harking back to her Polish roots and baking kolaches this weekend (but don't ask for the recipe, or her Royal Grandmother will have to Jack Bauer you) and checking out Invictus (Matt Day-mon!). Also, get ready for DC Restaurant Week coming up in January -- Queenie HIGHLY recommends Volt by Should-Have-Won-Top-Chef Bryan Voltaggio (swoon!). Still need some holiday fun ideas? Go test out your DJ skills next Tuesday at ESL, and, um, watch a holiday movie on the side of a building near Turner Central. ...Yeah, we don't get it either.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The TR: Calling All Our Loyal Subjects!

REGIME CHANGE

It's official, ladies and gents. Tonight... a Royal Coronation!

Come join us at the Royal Court -- the Jazz Bar at the 18th Street Lounge, that is -- and be a part of the official Sceptre Toss!

Our brand new Queen of Snark is getting crowned tonight and there are big changes in store.

Ack! Whattaya Mean, "Changes?"

It means that 2009 is on her way out and we'll be changing up the way we do things around here. Maybe a new look? Maybe some fresh content? At the very LEAST gratuitous use of flowcharts. Feel free to email us with what you'd like to see for the new year!

And don't be TOO worried -- we're still going to bring you the same brand of Grade A snark and media savvy that we've always provided.

Still concerned? Ssshhh, darling... we can talk about it tonight over cocktails and Tiger Woods jokes.

See you then, and see you next week!







PS: And to those of you celebrating Hanukkah tonight, have some latkes for us and thank Orrin Hatch for writing this song just for you.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The TR: Riding the Tiger, Gay Marriage Fail and All Hail the Comcast Overlords

In between bites of the supergross leftovers sandwiches you made after Turkey Day and going to see that vampire movie, it's okay if you forgot about the news. And maybe you forgot about the Prez's speech this week because you were hoofin' it on the treadmill like Queenie. But we KNOW you heard about Tiger. There's a lot to catch up on, class! Books out, welcome back!

Forecast

Now that that whole Afghanistan thing is done with (we're being sarcastic, people), the focus is shifting to jobsjobsjobs. The President has embarked on his White House to Main Street tour, starting in Allentown, PA, and doing what he does best: talkin'. His jobs summit and the resulting numbers are shifting the conversation, and it's clear that it's all the more necessary to make it look like the WH is doing something, even if that is to point and say, "Look! Improvement!" Expect punditry.

Also on next week's menu: O is headed to Copenhagen for the worldwide summit (we've been talking about it for so long we can't believe it's FINALLY happening). We're expecting more grand declarations with not a lot of follow through -- you know, the usual -- but in the wake of ClimateGate perhaps the summit will get a little more attention. Especially since Sarah's on the case!

We totally annoyed that MSM is took so long to catch on to the abortion and women's health legislation that could leave women's rights hanging in the balance, but, hey, as long as they're paying attention and the country starts hearing about it. Discussion is increasing about the recently-passed Mikulski amendment and the potential for an amendment barring abortion coverage in the Senate bill. Women, get yourselves out there if you're concerned about your reproductive rights. These women did.

Well, crap. So much for net neutrality. Comcast and NBC have merged in a huge business deal, which means they'll own a vast amount of the media you're watching (of course, they already do, but that's beside the point). Not nervous? Here. And Google is cracking down on paid content, closing the loophole that allowed users to read subscription websites for free. Look, we get that the Internet and the expansion of free media has made the TV and news industry a little desperate for viewers/money. But Comcast's move to own both the media and the way you view it means even less control over what you get to watch. Does that sound good to you?

Metro is outta cash, and this could mean fare hikes. You heard it here first.

The Week That Was

So are you supporting the President's plan for Afghanistan or are you against it? We just want to remind you: Obama said he would escalate troops in Afghanistan in his campaign for President, so what he decided isn't much of a surprise, and neither is NATO's contribution. But by no means is he wanting this to last forever, and we're curious if he'll really start bringing our troops home in July of 2011.

We don't know when gay marriage will finally become legal in all the 50, but New York certainly let us and our entire Twitter stream down when they voted against. Amazing, since everyone's been posting this amazing speech ever since. DC, however, was a small blessing, and New Jersey is now fired up to vote. Here's hoping this isn't a sign of momentum sizzling.

There has been more coverage of Tiger Woods' infidelity than pretty much anything else in the past few days, and, yes, we know we're only contributing to it right now, but daaammmnnn! We DO love a scandalous voicemail or two, ESPECIALLY when it's remixed into an R&B slow jam. Thanks for the distraction from the real world, Tiger!

Oh noes. Tai Shan, the National Zoo's only surviving giant panda cub, is finally off to China. Make sure to get your goodbyes in soon, everyone.

We had a LOT of fun with protest signs this year, so take a look back at some of the best of '09.

Fun Internet Things

Since we spend so much time on the web (it's our job!) we can't help running into funny/amazing/gross/weird things. Comes with the territory, really. So instead of hiding them throughout the TR like we've BEEN doing, this new section will help gather some of the latest amusing tidbits so you can share with all your friends. And then they'll think you're even MORE cool and hip. And then you can give us credit. H'ray!

Fun with eggs: remember this for your holiday baking party!

This is a little late, but if you plan on brushing your teeth tonight, remember to do it like a Spartan.

More Thanksgiving leftovers: did you see Paula Deen get hit in the face with a ham? Yeah, we felt bad for laughing too.

Cool nerd stuff: Google Street View of the ancient Pompeii ruins. Vacations are overrated, anyway.

Turns out Oxford University is actually Hogwarts. WE KNEW IT.

Nonja the orangutan is a total Facebook addict, but we're weirdly okay with it. Until she figures out Mafia Wars. Then we unfriend her. (Also in Facebook news, if Queenie's royal boyfriend did this at the altar, she'd totally change their relationship to "It's Complicated." Just warning you now, sweetie!)

Klingon is all the rage right now. If you have no idea what that means, just pretend you didn't hear us say that. You'll be happier that way.

Scorecard

HEY! Did you get our invitation to the Turner Holiday Party this year? If you're already in, awesome. If not... well, we can't say we'll miss you much. (Kidding!) Come hang out with Queenie and her royal court next Friday so you can show us all the snarking you've learned this year.

See you next week!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The TR: Wingnut Revolt, Congressional Attacks and a Royal Promotion

Are you in the holiday spirit yet? We are already sick of all the Christmas episodes, red Starbucks cups and SHOPPING PRESSURE happening right now. Not that there isn't enough going on in the world to take our minds off things. Read on for the full scoop, and a very special surprise announcement from the original Queen of Snark.

Forecast

Saturday, y'all. That's when the first vote on the Senate health care bill will take place, and no one's really sure if Reid has his 60 votes to pass it. Somehow we doubt that you'll be watching what happens on the old C-SPAN, but expect to hear all about it on the Sunday morning shows. Admittedly, less attention has been paid lately to the passing of the bill as people focus on the content (well, sort of, anyway). Did you know it might include a 5% tax on plastic surgery?

Still no Turkey Day decision on Afghanistan, sez Stephanopoulos/the Internet. Troops are poised just in case Obama comes through on the decision, but that won't leave many to guard the homeland. In the meantime, Dems have proposed a surtax to cover the cost of the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- it's just a show, so don't get all up in arms about taxation, but remember that wars cost money. Lots and lots of money.

Speaking of money: did you know 14% of American households are having trouble buying food? And 25 million people are un- or under-employed? And 10 states are on the verge of bankruptcy? Read this -- and, while we normally like giving you something to smile at on Fridays, this time we're keeping it real.

Oprah. Is. OUTTA HEEEEERE! In another couple of years, anyway. But don't worry -- Oprah is a force that will not quit, and we'll still be seeing her face in checkout lines, on TV, in presidential campaigns and who knows what else.

Here's hoping that we won't see anymore of this in the fine dining world. Blech.

The Week That Was

Obama's Asia Tour 2009 is just about wrapped up, and he made great strides in... foundation building. All right, fine. China owns us, so it makes sense to go be all smiley. But coming home to a week like this one can't lift the mood anyway: revolts against Geithner; protesting economical woes; nationwide airline glitches... it's enough to turn a President into a monster.

Hillary had a lovely piece in Vogue that centered on some of the more important things about her current position: she applies her own make-up; she (as opposed to certain female politicians) impresses Katie Couric with her smarts; and, oh, yeah, that she's a wee bit stressed. She's been in Afghanistan recently to mark the inauguration of President Karzai. (PS: Speaking of Vogue...)

...Ugh. She's still here. Our friends were threatening to boycott us if we spoke her name, so instead we'll just take a cue from Harry and call her She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. Or possibly Lord Jogging-Shorts. And, anyway, if it's true that avoiding her name takes away her power, maybe it's already working: there was a minor Tea Party revolt at one of her book signings thanks to her diva behavior. But what do you think, all you smarty-pants: is she the future of the party, and is said party on the verge of a comeback? Or will this be over when the media tour is?

Happy birthday, Joe! Geez, our VP is almost 70. Who knew.

John Kerry's daughter got a DUI in Hollywood, and, yes, we laughed. But then Dick Lugar's wife (you know, the Senator's ball and chain) crashed into a parked car in Northern Virginia, and now we're just scared for our safety. Drink responsibly, kiddos!

Could YOU work at Google? (The answer is: probably not, if this is for real. Don't worry, though -- neither could we.)

Super Special Royal Decree

Well, there is an end to all good things... and a beginning to even better ones. Today the TR marks the FORMAL PASSING OF QUEENIE'S SCEPTER to Culture Minister Katie Stanton. She's been writing the whole damned thing for quite a while, and Queenie (oops, er, Czarina?) begins to be embarrassed to take credit for Katie's smarts and humor.

So, everyone, hats off, bow low, scrape and grovel to the NEW QUEEN OF SNARK -- Katie Stanton. (Let me retire to that warm and lovely power-behind-the-throne space to think up a good new name for myself... Czarina? Goddess Divine? Suggestions in the Comments, people.)

Scorecard

Stupak is still upsetting us, but the new guidelines on mammograms and other procedures aren't making us quite so angry. Here's why.

Find our newly-crowned Queen at the National Geographic Warehouse Sale this weekend, desperately trying to spruce up her new apartment. And we probably shouldn't be telling you about this at ALL, but do you follow the Cupcake Truck? Don't say we didn't warn you.

And what shall the new Queen's first Royal Command be? Duh -- a week off! Enjoy your holidays and we'll see you in (eep) December!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The TR: Remembering Ft. Hood, Flipping Off Lou Dobbs and Hey... Where'd My Right to Choose Go?

Hoo, boy. It's been an emotional week, as we've been honoring the fallen at Ft. Hood and honoring our soldiers for Veteran's Day. And, over in Virginia, the sniping scare of '02 was finally brought to some kind of close when John Allen Muhammad was executed. (Our Culture Minister was in high school and just learning to drive when he was rampaging around the suburbs.)

Of course, Sesame Street has been cheering up everyone -- well, except Stephan Colbert. Read on for the scoop, straight from the mouths of Queens.

Forecast

Congress is in pre-Thanksgiving overdrive next week to get the Senate on top of the healthcare bill -- which lately has been under fire from women (and smart, tolerant, sexy men) re: the Stupak Amendment. We can't imagine why! In fact, the entire Democratic party has been up in arms about it... well, except for these 21 Dem senators who voted for it. And after this monolithic (how many times have we used that word in healthcare stories now?) bill is passed, Congress must confront climate change and jobs -- easy peasy, right?

Speaking of jobs, apparently O plans to focus all the monies on job programs in 2010 and proposed a jobs summit, aiming to eventually cut the federal deficit. That's all fine and dandy, but unless he plans on getting just a smidge more aggressive with his plans and programs (or get the people running this PR machine back on their game), we the people are going to be increasingly disillusioned -- dangerously so.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is piiiiissed at the information leaks that have been going on about Afghanistan and plans for military strategy. But isn't that just how this stuff works? Well, anyway, if he catches you he's going to pull a Donald Trump. What do we know in spite of him? Obama has still not made any decisions and is looking for changes in the plans before he signs anything (the UK sounds a little more ready, though, and NATO is pledging more help); Afghanistan and Pakistan are on watch as allies for our efforts, and it's not looking great thanks to the Taliban.

The Feds have moved to seize four mosques and an NYC skyscraper owned by a Muslim organization that is allegedly controlled by the Iranian government. This includes land in Maryland and Virginia, by the way. We're just waiting for this to keep rippling through the news cycle, so await Iranian response and right-wing hate-mongering galore.

Obama is in Japan for the start of his week-long tour of Asia, seeking better relations with the country and exploring the possibility of relocating a military base in Okinawa. Will we see any North Korean response to O in the East?

The Week That Was

There have been two very different spins on shootings at Ft. Hood, depending on what kind of media you're watching and what kind of audience they're speaking to. On the one hand, this could be a surefire sign that Muslim extremism is alive and well as a result of attempts to be overly politically correct. Have we ignored all the warning signs for sake of tolerance? On the other hand, this was a soldier about to be deployed back overseas -- maybe he just straight up lost it. We don't know and we're not about to guess, but every other pundit in America is. (PS: Way to be bipartisan, guys.)

Ugh, Sarah Palin is like a stray cat that keeps yowling at your door all night long. Why won't she go away?! Oh, yeah... Oprah. The AP has read The Book, and has spilled the details before any of us have really cared enough to open it (McCain's camp is all over it, though). We're not gonna lie -- we probably won't read it. But let us know if it's worth the couple of hours of brain-cell-popping it'll take. (PS: Why is Levi Johnston at a porn awards show?)

Is Lou Dobbs headed for FOX? (If so, don't plan on making the same mistakes Hannity did -- Jon Stewart is watching!) Or perhaps for public office? We have no idea but this story is a left-wing pundit's dream come true. Check him out in an interview with Bill O'Reillly on Monday (and don't let Queenie anywhere near those two men together, or her head might explode).

This is the greatest copy editing "f*#k you" we've ever seen: a disgruntled Toronto Star copy editor took the red pen to his boss's memo about cutting costs by hiring freelance copy editors, and the results have been making their rounds all over the Intarwebz. Be careful who you threaten, editors! Speaking of newspaper news, the Washington Times is slowly losing it.

OMGZ! MSNBCHeadlines and Britney Spears both got hacked on Twitter! We can't decide which one we enjoyed more: Britney as a Devil-worshipper or MSNBC telling Chris Matthews to suck it? Or does this South Park spoof of Glenn Beck win 'em all?

Our Wise Latina is a covergirl. Check out that manicure!

Scorecard

Ready for Turkey Day? Our Culture Minister has been readying her Martha Stewart cookbooks and cleaning out her kitchen in anticipation of her favorite holiday. If you're too lazy to make dessert, Co Co Sala has you covered -- OR do some good and eat some pie for Food & Friends. Here are some fun ideas for this weekend, and, in honor of Black Friday, you can buy Christmas presents for DC foster kids and deliver them Dec. 7 and 8.

We and Fem2.0 will be hanging out with the ladies of She's Geeky today -- won't you come and join us?

Have a great week!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The TR: We Blame Miss Piggy

We have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad news today.


Our poor Culture Minister has been hit by the wave of sickness that's been going around WDC for the past month or two.


Could it be... a swine flu disaster?


A SWINESASTER?!



Or maybe she got sick from the wave of low voter turnout and Republican victory dances that hit her home sweet Virginia this week?


Who knows. So please wish her well and enjoy what few amusing tidbits she's managed to throw your way before putting on cheesy early '90s chick flicks and taking the longest nap ever.

What Little She Could Manage

  • Remember, remember, that time Maine pissed off pretty much all our friends. Best line from this post? The title: "In the future, people who voted against marriage equality will lie to their grandchildren about how they voted." Word.
  • Ft. Hood. :( We send our deepest condolences to the families and victims.
  • The "Superbowl of Freedom?" "Obamunism?" "Weasel Queen?" Who the hell is coming up with this stuff?
Scorecard

Well, we know we didn't offer you much to go on this week, but we're hoping that weeks and months of keeping up with us have taught you to hold your own in the snark-o-sphere. If you still feel faint, leave us a comment or Tweet the Queen herself and she'll do her best to get you through.


In the meantime, the Culture Minister will be taking two aspirin and calling you in the morning.

Cheers!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The TR: Barackula Masks, Still Blaming Bush and Anderson Cooper is Hot

It’s about that time! Everyone’s buying their Barackula masks, gorging on treats, eyeing hot zombie dates and -- oh, um, taking time off Tuesday morning so they can vote. Right. Our Culture Minister would like to know, however: would she be looked down on for wearing her Princess Peach costume to the voting booth? These things ain’t cheap, you know!

Forecast

Most Democrats are really hating on Lieberman right now, but he’s got a Kanye attitude about it. And normally we’d laugh, make a few jokes, and move on. But after threatening to block the public option (and who is really surprised?), he’s hoofing around snabbing media attention - for what? Re-election? Really?! Hear all about it on Sunday’s Face the Nation.

But what with the healthcare bill STILL heating up and almost-on-the-floor (...sounds like our Culture Minister at the club, knowwhatI’msayin’), it looks like Congress is gonna be workin’ overtime to make it happen. Even (gasp) through Thanksgiving! We’ll bring over some leftovers and juice boxes, you guys! By the way, if you STILL haven’t gotten around to reading the damn thing, here you go. As painful as it is to look at, it’s been and will continue to be 100 times more painful to pass. You know, like a kidney stone. AND, don’t you worry, ultra-conservatives! So far, basic benefits for women like pelvic exams and birth control aren’t required to be covered by insurers (we just found out, though, that domestic violence screenings ARE). Won’t be killing any potential babies with those sneaky pelvic exams, no way, no how!

Expect to hear more about Pakistan and Afghanistan in the same breath (Pakghanistan? Afghakistan?), especially after Hillary’s “tough talk” (sigh) and O’s meeting with his Executive Smart Peeps that happened this afternoon. (Has anyone called Hillary a bitch yet about all this, or are we still being respectful? Wonder how long that’ll last...) The decision on Afghanistan is still not coming, and, like everyone’s been saying, it’s getting touchy. Set the DVR for former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on CNN this weekend.

Apparently the economy is “on the rise,” even though most of its progress has been thanks to government spending. But our attitudes are changing -- most people think we need to “keep in recovery mode” (and most people are still “blaming Bush for all this bullshit”).

Well, this is interesting. Talking Points Memo will now be a part of the press pool. Online journalism for the win?

The Week That Was

There's been some mixed press over Obama's visit to honor the bodies of 18 soldiers killed in Afghanistan. We think it was a good move -- don't deny what's happening and let the families know that you are there, front and center, for your citizens. And don't apologize for it, neither.

We guess that brief love affair with Grayson is now over -- for us, anyway. He got caught calling Linda Robertson, a lobbyist, a "K Street Whore." Also speaking of sexism, people have been getting all hysterical (a little feminist snark there) over Obama playing sports with boyos only. FINALLY Melody Barnes was invited along for the golf trip -- you know, to crack open the beers, giggle at all their jokes and clean up after everyone goes home.

Lou Dobbs was shot at -- literally. He and his wife were standing outside their Jersey home when a gun was fired and a bullet hit the wall, and he's thinking the attack is from pro-immigration supporters. Yeah, probably. Scary stuff!

"Everyone in Congress is under investigation!" That headline sounds a little ridiculous to us, but it's perfect for the media to glomp on and wave around triumphantly. So take it as a lesson in "making news," everyone. This is the umpteenth time you've heard that your Congressional reps are corrupt, but add a little hysteria and an "uncovered document" and you've got yourself a story. Class dismissed!

OHHH, ANDERSON! We realize a lot of our pundit-loving female friends have secret or not-so-secret crushes on you, but so do our pundit-loving guy friends. Who is this purty fella?

Wal-Mart will now be selling caskets, as you already may know. But turns out Costco's been doing it for years. And Overstock. And some place called Casket Xpress. And EWWW.

Vampire alert: Twilight fan restaurant will be opening in Washington State, and our Culture Minister's tickets are already booked.

Auto-Tune the News is officially Over. Mindy Kaling of the Office? You're our new T-Pain.

Shameless Self-Promotion

For the second year, Queenie (aka Suzanne Turner) has been selected by the prestigious Campaigns & Elections POLITICS Magazine to judge the best political campaigns of the season. Turner joins luminaries such as James Carville, Eleanor Clift, Julie Germany, Mark Penn, Larry Sabato, Bob Shrum, George Stephanopoulos, Christine Todd Whitman, Joe Trippi and Judy Woodruff. Huzzah!

Scorecard

We told y'all about Levi Johnston a while ago, and everyone is STILL talking about it. Hush up until he puts out, okay? Then sneak a look and pretend to everyone else that you didn't. It's okay. You and the rest of America are only curious, right?

And, in a completely unsurprising follow-up story, the Yes Men are getting sued.

Catch our Culture Minister NOT dancing at the DC101 Halloween party in Clarendon tonight, and don't overdo it on the candy tomorrow. Be safe, kiddos!

PS: This is why we love the Today Show.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The TR: Internet Rodeo, Healthcare Hardball and Fox News Gets a Ton of Free Publicity

Weirdly, this week had some religious overtones, thanks to Twitter all a-squabble over God's existence, Obama celebrating Diwali and the sound of liberals praying for a public option.

But fear not, delinquent pagans among you -- Halloween is right around the corner, so you can practice your heathenism in peace. Like handing out candy to the damned socialists that'll be knocking on your door. Trick or proletariat dictatorship!

Forecast

A watered-down version of the public option is now in play in the Neverending Story of Healthcare. Pelosi is taking a firmer stance on this, calling on colleagues to stand for a Robust Option, but this is probably happening because of several hundred thousand calls to Congress generated by social media campaigns. Ergo, the public supports it! Even some GOPers admit that reform has got to happen, and killing it altogether is irresponsible -- again, the public agrees. Here's hopin'.

Afghanistan update: not much.

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Act is going to O's desk. Finally.

Virginian's, y'all will be voting very soon, and the race has been covered in earnest all week. Now they're predicting the end of Creigh Deeds (much to the White House's joy), and our Culture Minister can't say she's THAT disappointed -- although neither candidate leaves much to be desired. What she's more disappointed about is the "light purple-ing" of her state -- oh, and that pesky right to choose.

Is journalism dead yet?! This is taking way longer than Grannie ever did. Am I right, Dems?

Another time to set those DVR's, everybody! Palin. On Oprah. We're taking bets now -- will she a.) jump on the couch, b.) get totally slammed by the most powerful O of all or c.) giggle and offer almost nothing newsworthy, because SOMEONE finally media-trained her?

The Week That Was

BRING ON THE PITCH FORKS! More bonuses are being distributed among government-aided banks, and the White House was piiiiiissed. Kenny Feinberg and the Fed have been making moves to cut compensation for top executives at these firms, with mixed reviews, and we kinda agree that it's more of a media storm than actual changes to the system. At least someone OTHER than Michael Moore is taking this on. But is this overstepping boundaries? Or is it not enough?

Speaking of pay czars, the WH lost its battle to keep its arch-nemesis FOX News out of interviews with Feiny. We can't decide if this whole "FOX News is biased!" battle was a good move (look, do you really consider FOX a credible news source? Really??) or a bad one (way to stir up the Conservative base, guys). Not to mention that, yes, there may be an actual journalist or two working for FOX, despite the bad apples writing memos all up in there. Anyway, this is just playing to Dems without actually having to do anything. Much like that whole gay rights thing.

Ooo, somebody got PUNKED. The Yes Men (the Culture Minister is smothering her giggles right now) sent out a fake press release with the Chamber of Commerce's logo, and BAM! Fake news! Hopefully this will teach some people to do some research (see the little name and phone number up at the top of those releases? You can call them for info!), but it's also calling even more attention to the Chamber of Commerce's stance on climate issues and to the issue in general. Let's face it: the Yes Men (teehee) successfully pulled it out.

Lots of online news this week. We still consider the Internet the Wild, Wild West at this point -- gunfights for territory, rampant looting, spur-of-the-moment clusterf&%ks and saloon girls (SIGH). A favorite this week was the Twitter battle over the #NoGod hashtag and censorship -- get the full story here. (Leave us a comment and let us know what you think about Windows 7 -- we actually like it, but our stuck-up Apple-loving friends have been yowling about it for weeks now.)

The Balloon Boy debacle continued for a while, but the most entertaining meme of the week goes to this game, which the Culture Minister totally has only played for sake of journalist inquiry. She swears.

Reader Comments

We got lots of responses to this gem from last week:

"We were peacefully working through the day yesterday when suddenly our Twitterstreams were HIJACKED. Small boy in a balloon? Trapped thousands of feet in the air?? IT CANNOT BE! It's a Roald Dahl book come true! This little boy is LIVING THE DREAM!"

One reader shouted, "THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT!" and we're ever-so-glad! Great minds, we assure you.

Scorecard

Well, we warned women about healthcare and what happened? NWLC and SEIU hijacked the #fem2 hashtag and got thousands of signatures and phone calls to Congress about protecting women's healthcare. Nice!

We did, however, miss news on the record deficit that came out last Friday. Can't win all the time, we 'spose...

Everyone's starting Halloween parties early -- and DC is being taken over by Howard Homecoming this weekend. Check out our Culture Minister's favorite local rapper Wale at Love tonight (she'll be dropping by Hirshhorn After Hours too) and lots more via the Going Out Gurus. Oh, and if family-friendly is more your thing, Air & Scare is tomorrow!

'Til next time!