Friday, April 3, 2009

The TR: Obama On Fire, London Calling and the Return of Blago

Binghamton under attack, blood in the streets of old Londontown and Queenie gets an iPod. What more is there to say?


The Dow is on its way up and Congress is heading home for Spring break, so expect silence from that part of town for a while. We do, however, expect a stronger budget bill to emerge shortly after Congress' return on April 20.

Except, of course, for the sound of those knives sharpening for Obama's 100-day report cards. The man's never gotten anything but an A, but if Paul Krugman is his loyal opposition and Rush says he's a communist, what can we expect? Anyway, it's a few weeks off.

In prep for that, expect lots of back and forth pontificating over O's budget passage -- or at least grandstanding in conservative Repub districts. Not that that's anything new...

(And is a celebrity profile of Krugman really the best Newsweek can do on the real economic questions of the day? Read the Economist, please, for some real journalism. Or track the duelling blogs of CBO director Doug Elmendorf and Obama budget office director Peter Orszag.)

We'll hear more about the G-20's plans (enough money? enough regulation?), though not as much as we would like.

The media will still be breathlessly tracking the Obama World Tour through next week. Michelle and Barry hit up France and Germany today (Michelle v. Carla fashion smackdown? C'mon, MSNBC, give us a break...), and Bush-weary Europeans are welcoming the new administration with open arms. Expect the fawning to continue through early next week. In the meantime, U.S. news will keep focusing on the economy and unemployment. Bummer.

Yay, Iowa! The Iowa Supreme Court ruled a gay marriage ban unconstitutional, and it's welcome news in the wake of Prop 8. We hope this will encourage more states to keep up the momentum.

Oh, and let us not forget our favorite infamous Illinois crackpot. He's sure to take the lead in late-night punchlines after his return from Disneyworld to face multiple indictments -- 16, to be exact. While the pundits give Congress a break, they'll be hyperfocused on Blago. It also means we'll be hearing a lot about Jesse Jackson Jr., who, according to the Hill, sought an appointment from the guy. This could have big implications for his possible run for Senate seat next year. Popcorn, anyone?

The Week That Was

The Obamas took London by storm. "Ich bin ein Berli- LONDONER!" Good old Queen E looked... sadly confused and fragile as she warmly welcomed the Obamas into Westminster. Couldn't help wondering -- is it time for Charles' 15 minutes soon? Or is it right to Princess Di's lookalike rock star son Wills? (And ABOUT THAT IPOD -- what is it with the Obamas and their diplomatic gifts? I know their Mamas taught them better than that! Please vote -- strange statement? Or just clueless?)

What's good for GM is good for America... right? Well, everyone rioting at the G-20 in London might agree that canning under-performing and over-paid CEOs is a good first start. And we're not so sure Krugman is right. Practice by nationalizing the car companies (Republicans hate the Unions, anyway), then move on to the real problem -- the financial sector.

Still in Europe -- we watched the blood in the streets and wondered where the fuss was in the U.S. We're still waiting for REAL rioting. Man the barricades, mes enfants!

Back in the States, we have to say, thank goodness for Eric Holder. Nice to have a real attorney general again after 8 years of the Bush admin. Ted Stevens has been acquitted a little late, but it's wonderful to see a non-political AG at work. And h/t to Holder's request to about race -- do you think than an African-American man is more sensitive to charges of prosecutorial misconduct than a privileged white man?

Thank you, venerable UK Guardian newspaper, for the best April Fool's joke of the week. "Guardian to go to all Twitter format," blared the headline. "Nothing worth saying is over 140 characters." Made ya look! By the way, this whole Google-taking-over-Twitter thing is probably just another rumor, but it did make a splash in the blogosphere this week. What do you think -- any chance of rumor becoming reality?

Keira Knightley lent a helping hand to Rihanna and all women dealing with domestic abuse with a brutal new PSA. But we're not sure. Effective PSA or hard porn? Everyone's gonna watch this, and seeing Keira (or anyone, really) getting hit that hard is shocking at first. But will it lead to action?

And just a small note about the future of the Gray Lady: yes, it's grave, but is it worse than Darfur?

Speaking of violence and disaster, our hearts go out to the families of the victims in Binghamton, NY.


We predicted Spring would COME and the Dow would GO, but seems like we got the opposite. Oh, global warming must be worse than we expected! (There was a lovely day or two this week; keep your fingers crossed for more!)

Reader Comments

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, dear friends!! Yes, celebrating happened. Now -- back to the gulag with all of us!


Anonymous said...

RE the iPod for the Queen: It seems it could have been a nice gift -- if it came with a docking station. I missed that detail in press accounts -- not sure if it did or didn't.
Rage on, Snarky.


Suzanne said...

I'm just wondering why she didn't get the usual Baccarat American Eagle.