Friday, June 26, 2009

The TR: RIP MJ, Sanford's Tan Lines and Total Twitter Twoverload

Did your Internets collapse under the weight of all the news this week? Goodness gracious! We haven’t had such an exciting time with our Google Readers since... well... actually, that sounds kind of dirty. Never you mind. Read on for sex scandals, celebrity deaths (real AND fake), Palin’s attempts at staying relevant and lots of “getting Gibbs wet” jokes from the press. They were DYING to write those headlines, we’re sure.

Forecast

FYI, y’all, Congress is going into recess today. Probably recovering from the first-ever White House Luau; we found loads of stories about dunk tanks, Sasha’s awesome throwin’ arm (Title IX, people!) and, OMG, the most adorable Barack/Michelle moment ever. Where was our invite, Obama? Nevermind -- Queenie and her princes are off frolicking on the REAL beach. Hah.

Anyway, bipartisanship gets a brand new test at the RNC v. DNC softball spectacular tonight. Love, love, LOVE the trash talk.

The name "Neda" has been on everyone's lips since the young woman's death was broadcast all over the web this week, but we're worried that she and the election in Iran will get overshadowed by all the other news this week and next. Read this amazing piece from the Women's Media Center about how Neda became a symbol, and keep looking for more stories as Obama takes a firmer stance.

The California budget crisis will soon be solved! How? They are RUNNING OUT OF MONEY. State Comptroller John Chiang plans to "start issuing IOUs next week to local governments, private contractors, state vendors, and to taxpayers awaiting tax refunds.” That’s the way to fix the struggling economy -- leave all of those who have done business with the state hanging, so they in turn can’t pay employees or even their own utility bills!

Remember that whole “there’s a war going on” thing? The US military is preparing for a withdrawal by June 20th (that’s next Tuesday), and attacks are ramping up. But some people don’t believe we’ll even get a withdrawal.

Bernie Madoff's sentencing is next week! Place your bets now!

Sarah Palin is trying to stay afloat as the GOP's number one contendah, but so far she's just staying outraged as people take digs at her (wait, she made a joke!). Sigh. This will get old fast.

Dear summer interns: you know we love you. We know your parents have told you this, and you’re probably so tech savvy you don’t need the advice, but be careful what you Tweet. Marion Berry is watching.

The Week That Was

SEX SCANDALS! LIES! TAN LINES! Just a day in the life of American politics, dearies. And for all you naysayers out there -- we’re sorry, both Republicans AND Democrats are screwing around and getting caught. We love Andrea Dew Steele’s take on all this, though: what if Nancy Pelosi skipped off to another country on Mother’s Day to get some extra-marital attention? Would a press conference and some tears get the media off her back that quickly? Weeeee don’t think so... hell, Sanford's already back at work.

Didn't these "gay demon" fearing Christians know that exorcism only works if the actual dude from "The Exorcist" is in the room? Kidding aside, we really hope the kid in this video is ok.

Other scandals this week? Perez Hilton. LOL! This started as welcome comic relief for us AND Zac Efron (hmmm... Hollywood feeding itself its own entertainment...) but it's turning something a bit more serious. Here's the rundown: gay blogger gets punched by music exec after insulting him with a gay slur. Gay blogger sues and tries to donate money to Matthew Shepard Foundation. Foundation refuses because he used a gay slur. Kelly Clarkson pretty much summed it up here.

Are race relations any better under Obama? Most people are saying no (and the Transformers movie, which our Culture Minister highly recommends viewing on the big, big, BIG screen, is a shining example). What do YOU think? (On a related note, our marketing intern found this gem of a website that will teach you how to treat your white colleagues in the work place. Phew! Finally, someone tells us!)

Here, this will make you laugh: Meghan McCain thinks she's a pundit. Teehee!

In Memoriam, Red Line and Red Carpet Edition

What. A. Week.

First, the biggest tragedy in Metro's history. We're sure you heard (or maybe were there) when there was a crash on the Red Line this week, and we're sure your friends across the country were Tweeting/emailing/calling you within minutes. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.

Then Our Culture Minister yesterday was shocked to hear people shouting “MICHAEL JACKSON DIED!” into their Blackberries as she walked to Farrugut West. After some quick texting, it was confirmed: au revoir, Roi de la Pop.

WTF, man? We’re as upset as the rest of you. And MJ Tweets were 30% OF THE TWITTERSPHERE this morning; all 10 of CNN’s top stories were, yep, about MJ; Google, Bing, Twitter, TMZ, Perez, the LA Times -- hell, the internet broke, you guys. Talk about star power. We'll miss you, MJ.

And this on top of Ed Macmahon’s and Farrah Fawcett’s real deaths, AND Jeff Goldblum’s and Harrison Ford’s fake deaths. (Oh, and death of Perez Hilton’s popularity, but that’s, like, whatever.)

Scorecard

We're doing our best to keep these Report's comin', people. See how we love you? That said, next week there's a three-day-weekend, and we don't love you that much. Take a break for some fireworks and we'll see you soon!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The TR: Democracy in Iran, Feeding the iPhone Frenzy and Red Carpets in DC

It's been a busy, busy, busy week. We mean, you HAVE been checking your Twitter lately, right? (And, by the way, did you know you can follow The Turner Report on Twitter?) From massive protests in Iran to star-sightings in DC, we have the global scoop this week. You might want to sit down for this one...

Forecast

Healthcare has remained one of the many, many above-the-fold issues this week, and it'll stay that way for the near future. Haven't kept up? Check out the Dummy's Guide. O sought out the AMA's support for his reform plans, but Senate Democrats are putting the breaks on as they try to hash out the costs -- and Republicans are already shoutin' some fightin' words. This is going to be a long and painful process, folks. Next week, check out O's healthcare forum on ABC and tell us if the Republicans are right in warning that it'll be an infomercial.

More on Congress' plate this week: energy! Well, it's been there all the time, but now we're paying attention. Energetically, natch. The cap and trade bill is hitting the floor next week -- maybe -- and while Democrats argue about the specifics, we and the enviros around here are hoping this will finally happen. Oh, and that "cash for clunkers" bill passed -- fuel efficiency for the win!

However, a Republican senator really pissed us off with this one: a resolution condemning violence against health providers was blocked anonymously -- and why, do you ask? Let RH Reality Check explain.

Is the economy fixed yet?! These two graphs show positive growth. Go ahead and read the rest of this article for us, though, 'cause we are waaay too busy for this kind of eco-jargon.

Bushie is lashing out again -- just in time for more news about the rest of the Republican Party's implosion. Is he just trying to provide a distraction, or is he just bored? We dunno, but we hope he'll go back to the ranch soon... they need him out there.

We figure that most of you are already on top of this, but in News-That-Makes-Us-Pee-A-Little, the new iPhone is here! Yay! Oh, and the new Google Phone. Whatever THAT is...

The Week That Was

We hope you've been paying as much rabid attention to the situation in Iran as we have. Nico Pitney has been liveblogging the election fall-out from the Huffington Post; check it out for videos, pictures, quotes, articles and more. Here's more from Guardian. A special shout-out to the Lipstick Revolution -- Iranian women have been taking to the streets by the thousands to fight for equal rights. And another shout-out to Jared Cohen from the State Department, who, as We Love DC pointed out, was key in keeping the Fail Whale away from election coverage. But remember, kiddos -- we love Twitter, we love social media, but 140 characters and a green avatar doth not a revolution make.

More on Iran: Facebook and Google offering Persian translation; the House bill condemning the violence against the demonstrators; Iranian soccer players that joined in the protests suspended; and Pete Hoekstra Tweets a terrible simile that's now an awesome meme.

Ooh, get well soon, Hillary! And you too, Walter Cronkite.

Hey, y'all, here's the Sotomayor WTF of the Week! And one more, just for good measure.

Many people have been describing the "honeymoon with Obama" as fully over, and, in an ironic move, Bill Maher has added himself to the list with his recent screed. What do you think? Do you agree?

OMG CELEBS! DC is red-carpet friendly this week: Angie was here for World Refugee Day, they're filming a Reese Witherspoon/Owen Wilson/Paul Rudd movie around town and people are still pissed off about Real World DC and The Real Housewives. We're cool, you guys! Right? (Hey, at least we have Ovechkin -- MVP, baby!)

Also, two more must-sees from our Culture Minister: something to make you giggle and something to make you cry. Whew -- emotional rollercoaster!

Scorecard

We'll close with a hearty round of Limbaugh Karaoke and this awesome photo of our own Jen Dickson, Morning Joe and Mika B. Really!

Didja make your plans for July 4 yet? Invite us over -- we make a mean red, white and blue jello mold.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 12, 2009

The TR: Hate, Healthcare and Hot Air

Tragic geriatric killing chez Holocaust, swine flu (aka heiny virus) once again on the rampage, and the Queenie agrees with Palin... quelle horreur! It really MUST be the end of the world as we know it...

Forecast

It's all healthcare, all the time as the pressure builds to create some legislation. Although we'll see movement on food safety and climate change, healthcare will own the airwaves and Obama will keep on keepin' on in the heartland. Elsewhere on the agenda: wartime supplemental and "cash for clunkers."

Although he's got quite a bit on his plate, Obama is staying focused: he will publicly pledge to do something about immigration reform! ...Even if, you know, no real action can come to pass until at least 2011. Let's see if Repubs grab the chance to win the Hispanic vote back.

Speaking of backlash, the debate over Sotomayor has not let up -- even if it's notsomuch in the news. The Senate has been boiling over with juvenile name-calling and in-yo-face debating. Geez... she's not even THAT liberal! Maybe, as our good friend PunditMom asks, she's just got cooties? Well, at least Bushie is sticking up for her.

We'll continue to see stories over the weekend about the connections between abortion clinic terrorists and white supremacists (thank you, Southern Poverty Law Center). And, of course, the more tenuous connection between the poisonous right-wing media environment and violence (thank you, Media Matters). Both good and important points. But, apparently, the right wing media is up in arms because the anti-Semitic shooter was actually an extreme lib: exhibit A -- he was off to shoot up the Weekly Standard, and B -- he hated Bush. Crazy people are just damned crazy, and many paranoids just hate everyone. (And - interesting Web 2.0 note - most of his rants were quietly removed from websites across the country in the last few days.)

Regulating tobacco? It's headed for Obama's desk. But there's plenty a slip 'twixt cup and lip. So let's hope they give the poor FDA some big mooolah, too, since the agency is already too underfunded to do its existing work and will soon have gigantic new (needed) food safety obligations. We're not seeing enough attention to the unfunded mandate detail. AND we keep thinking of Grover Norquist's 1990's call to make government so small it can be drowned in the bathtub. How about giving it too much to do, not giving it enough money, then industry can say they'd do a better job policing themselves? Aaaah, and THEN the bathroom scenario. Scary.

Queenie is getting really tired of comedians in the news. Oh, no, newly almost-minted Senator Franken of Minnesota, we don't mean you. But, please. Davie-boy, it isn't cute to joke about 14-year-old's sex lives. But, you certainly nailed the media monsoon the Palins would help you generate with that line. As great as that may be with your O'Brien/Stewart face off... BAD BOY. Down. Heel. (Sadly, it ain't over -- it will be the gift that keeps on giving as Palin [correctly, Queenie thinks] continues to demand an apology to women. Oops! There it is!)

The Week That Was

In News-That-Seems-Obvious, swine flu is now a pandemic. Click here if you have no idea what that means.

Ahmadinejad or Mousavi? Iranians have been voting today in mass numbers, and the Guardian had spiffy live updates to keep us informed. Check 'em out. What do you think -- is Obama right when he says Iran is ripe for change?

Sanctions on North Korea have been expanded as a result of their nuclear tests, and *yawn* we're back in the cycle. As a result, South Korea and, indeed, the US are gearing up for more tests -- and this on the heels of hearing that Kim Jong Il's successor will be his youngest son. We told you to pay attention to this stuff, remember?

It's D-Day! Time to make sure your TV is ready for digital signals -- and if you haven't heard about this by now, you're probably not on e-mail either. So we guess we can say whatever we want about you senile, uncultured troglodytes. Zing!

The Army is allowing soldiers to use social networking sites, reversing a longstanding policy on U.S. bases, and we're applauding them for the move. Not only is it giving the Army a chance to create its own PR (hear the "Army story" straight from the source) but it gives soldiers even more of a chance to connect with their friends and family while on base. Although, still no MySpace or YouTube. As long as they can tweet!

Carrie Prejean was fired! Go ahead, breath that sigh of relief -- the great Miss America institution is saved. Ok, ok, this isn't really that interesting... but the emails dug up between her and Miss California director Keith Lewis are hilarious.

OMG OMG OMG! It's only a few hours until you can have your Facebook vanity url. Our Culture Minister has been practicing for the quickdraw all week. (Don't know why this is important? Might want to hire us for some online tech training...)

Announcement

School's out for summer! This may not be a staple of cablefest rants next week, but it IS top of mind for most of the rest of the country: "WHAT THE H*** DO WE DO WITH THE KIDS NOW????" So... another tragic announcement... in the decision between "my royal princes" OR "regular weekly TR?" It's OFF WITH THE TURNER REPORT'S HEAD.

We will be publishing the TR semi-regularly this summer and focusing on Turner's real work -- creating kick-a** traditional and online media campaigns that change the world for the better. OH YES, with a dab of parenting thrown in. (Want to send the kids over to play Xbox at the Queen's castle on K Street? They can wave to Sascha and Malia in the White House kiddie play room.)

Oh, don't cry. Here, our Culture Minister will cheer you up with this awesome rap video about Arlington -- you know, the only place you snobby Washingtonians will visit in sweet Virginia.

We'll be seeing you!