Friday, February 6, 2009

The TR: Stimulation Stress, FEMA Fears and Bale ANGRY!

Smuh-ACK! Honeymoon over. Get ready to watch governing in INaction....

Dear Reader, partisan gridlock in the face of international economic meltdown does not surprise us. But admit it, a tiny flower of hope -- that our shiny new president would usher in a new era to pull our world from the very brink of disaster -- blossomed in your hardened heart. Not yet, bub.

Forecast

The ailing economy needs a powerful defibrillation stat (Clear! ZAP!), but Congress will continue to mud wrestle in the patient's rapidly coagulating blood. It's up to savior Olympia Snowe and her reverse-Pelosi lock-out (no staffers rather than no Republicans) to hammer a billion or so out of the very limp-looking stimulus package and win enough bipartisan support to pass it. We just LUV this chart that shows how the stim-stim-stim-u-LESS has been all over recent news coverage.

The nonstop blab-a-thon and theatrics will stretch through next week as O desperately tries to seize framing back from the Republicans. What? Shocked by the power of right-wing talk radio and the Repugs' need to deny O a victory? Tip for Prez Dearest: One op-ed in the WashPo won't do the trick. Your go-for-broke meetings and ongoing CNN/MSNBC-fest is more to the point. Hint for progressive groups: You're not breaking through the media static AT ALL -- are you even trying?

And, oh my, the confirmation process, aka the losing party's quadri-annual blood sport! Conventional Dem wisdom says dearth of Daschle is possible death knell for healthcare reform. Is Sibelius up to the job? What other tax imbroglios can we uncover? Was O wise to use the phrase, "I screwed up"? Comments welcome. We'll be getting 'em online from the punditry and in the op-ed columns, so why not from you, Dear Reader?

Down-on-their-luck mainstream media have got to earn bucks where they can. Guess that's why AP is suing "Hope" artist Shepard Fairey for copyright violation. Expect this quarrel to go on for a while. Andre the Giant now has a big new legal posse (that's a TR street-cred reference for you, by the way).

As if the world's economy weren't scary enough, we have to continue being afraid of peanut butter. While the FDA testifies that they've been doing all in their power to protect the country from salmonella in a kid's favorite sandwich filler, we find out that those FEMA Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) peanut butter packets being distributed to winter disaster victims are likely contaminated. And, ye Gods, the offending company is selling PB to the school lunch program! Poor kiddos... ice-stormed out, just failed an algebra test, and now also diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps? But thankfully possible litigation would restrain the airlines from trying to sell us FEMA MREs as snack food. Seems this peanut butter story will stick.

The Week That Was

All hail Eric Holder. The Queen sheds a tear of wonder and joy that after centuries of extra-judicial murder the country's lead lawman is African American. Let us lay to rest Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit." So fantastic that the awful Clinton-Marc Rich dust-up did not bring down a good man.

O is still courting the evangelicals with expansion of the Faith Based-Initiatives Office. Interesting attempt to focus on REDUCTION of unwanted pregnancy has pro-life hackles up. Not surprising, as they think the pill, Plan B and other reliable hormonal methods are actually abortifacients.

Someone must shut the tomb door, for Nosferatu goes not gently into the night. Interesting to watch Cheney's stroking-out, molar-grinding visage as he pronounced the country ripe for terrorist strike. For shame, old man! Wasn't ripping apart the Constitution with your fangs enough for you?

Paging Christian Bale, paging Christian Bale. Your assistant has just arrived with your overdue Xanax prescription. If you're bored already with this celebrity dust-up-du-jour, try watching this Bale-O'Reilly mashup. Where do our friends at Media Channel find these things?! (And Stephan Colbert's homage to Bale is just priceless!)

Next time you see a Crystal Light ad and wonder whose fun song it uses, know that it's Grammy-nominated Estelle. She recorded the song specifically for the drink, just as Chris Brown used "Forever" for Wrigley's Doublemint Gum. (Our intern is still devastated to find out that he didn't write that one for HER.) It's all a part of the new wave of branded entertainment being used to connect with audiences, and promote products AND music. So... are these artists selling out? Some think yes, but those tunes are so damn catchy, we don't mind.

And a quick entertainment news rant from our Culture Minister... never mind Bale's Hulk impression; what the hell kind of breaking news is Miley making faces and Phelps inhaling?! Seriously, people, ya gotta give us something more exciting. Even fatty Jessica Simpson is boring us to death.

Strike up your prayer wheels, e-mail prayer listservs and the like to encourage rapid healing for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's pancreatic cancer surgery. Sure, it's great we have a Dem prez to appoint good judges, but do we have to lose the libs on the court for him to do so?

Always fun when the Pope un-excommunicates a Holocaust denier. Hmmm... we're still trying to untangle this. Who's up next for canonization -- Torquemada? Or so asks one of our favorite PCDCers.

Last, but certainly not least, a big shout out to Gloria Pan, Shireen Mitchell, Heather Holdridge and Katie Stanton for an AMAZING Fem2.0 conference. Not only did nearly 300 folks show, but hundreds more participated virtually. Twitter-traffic trended to #2 in the day's discussed topics, rivaling the Superbowl. And the party continues...

Scorecard

Amusing as we may have been, we rather sucked last week. We were so in love with O that we failed to note he wasn't framing and defending the stimulus package adequately (we even laughingly dismissed the right-wing defamations). Now we have one of those big messes on our hands. And Repugs can position the mid-terms as not Bush's fault (the economy) but as O's (bad stimulus bill).

Reader Comments

Our mean, snarky selves were heartily welcomed back. The Queen received no less than SEVENTY weepy tears-of-relief messages by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and courier pigeon. Now if we could get all those unsubscribers back from that one, sole effort to be NICE... Damn.

Go forth, dear readers, and may the snark be with you.

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