Friday, July 17, 2009

The TR: Splainin’ to Do, Healthcare Possibilities and a Goodbye to a Friend

Queenie's got some splainin' to do... She only watched SotomayOR with the sound off. But she's tracked every detail of health care legislative development while cleaning up dog vomit AND taking care of kids. (Oh, and creating UK media firestorms and easily framing policy storms in personal stories. Talk about work/life balance.) But we're feeling very oppressed this week and DEPRESSED by the crazy lack of respect our wise Latina received. Nonetheless, she's a shoo-in. Trust us.


The hearings are over and Sotomayor did not have a hysterical meltdown as Republicans had hoped (we mean, that's what women DO, right?). Despite the fact that three of the seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have said they are likely to support the nomination and move the process to the full Senate (including Mel Martinez), some say they will block next week's proposed vote, just because they can! Remind us, what's the term for that again? Oh, being an asshole. Right. Anyway, watch out for August.

Is the economy back from "the abyss?" We're hearing whispers of improvement from all corners, but should we believe them? Krugman, as usual, sez, "LOL! Don't be silly."

Throw this in the WTF category, y'all. A defense spending bill on the slate for next week has a hate crimes amendment in it that, apparently, will lead to punishing Christians for their beliefs against homosexuality. Duhhhh! Of COURSE it would! Silly liberals.

The moment we have all been waiting for. Or have we? The trusty New York Daily News is reporting that we could know as early as next week what caused the death of MJ. If you hear any tidbits (from CREDIBLE SOURCES), drop us a line!

Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. isn't likely to face the hot seat questioning (yowza!) next week that Sotomayor faced this week. When he appears before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thursday to approve his nomination as Ambassador to China, he can expect to move through the process with ease. Maybe it's because he's a *gasp* Republican? Michael Haltzel, former Foreign Relations Committee staffer, had this gem: "I just would be very, very surprised if this were highly confrontational or even unpleasant for him. I don't want to use the word 'love-in,' but it could be." Sounds messy!

The Week That Was

YOU had the Sotomayor stuff on your office TV all week, didn't you? We watched. We Tweeted. We laughed. We cringed. The racism and sexism abounded, but we were proud of our girl for not cracking under the pressure. In fact, we were all just cracking up as Repubs embarrassed themselves. Maybe they should read our favorite headline this week: "It Would Behoove the Republican Party to Immediately Stop Pissing Off Latinos." And this might be the cutest story of the week: Girl Scouts from Baton Rouge sold cookies so they could attend the hearings in person. Cool!

The health care bill is trudging along, and we'll probably be mentioning it like this for the next year or so. If you haven't been keeping up, here's a nice summary of the latest. Seems like it got a boost this week: the AMA declared their support, and it passed the Ways and Means committee! Progress? Pfft. We'd say "think of the children!" but turns out they don't support healthcare. Who knew?

Hmmmm... Cornell study shows us that online media are only breaking 3.8 percent of news stories. As cross-media strategists, we beg to differ. Remember Dan Rather brought to his knees? That little Swift Boat incident? The Macaca snafu on that little YouTube contraption? Traditional outlets are rushing in where fools once dared to tread, but online media still provides a powerful way to shape the conversation. We recommend Twitter for starters... call with questions, chers amies!

NASA lost the moon landing footage! But, in a well-executed PR move, is now re-releasing it all new and improved. Raise your hand if you still think it's all a conspiracy! Add the FOX special tonight (yeah, yeah, we know) to your DVR to see Buzz Aldrin quietly grumbling about being the second man on the moon. Oh, and did you hear about the China espionage dramz?

In Memoriam

This is a true eulogy, not a tongue-in-cheek parade of print media sorrows. It was very apt that Queenie learned from Facebook that a dear friend from long ago tragically passed away at the age of 44 on his Connecticut farm. Nick Givotovsky was an incredible intellect, someone who saw technology's early promise way back in the 1980's when he and Queenie were busily building the world's first gallery of communications technologies with a team of other forward-thinking 20-somethings. As he -- and the technology -- matured, Nick made quite a name for himself, warning of the Internet's threat to privacy. As Queenie (again, fittingly) pieced his subsequent career together through Google and blogs, she found a poem about fears of "bar coding our souls." So Nick. He was youth and brilliance personified. Narcissistically, part of Queenie's last shreds of remaining youth die with the knowledge that he has moved on. Incredible that the very best are taken from us so young -- those that the world really needs. Great sympathy to his widow and children, and thank you for providing Nick the grounding and support to realize his early promise.

Flagrant Self Promotion

In a handful of phone calls, we had the British isles a-storm with the latest tidbits from their own economic meltdown. Not to mention the press that a half hour of direct dialing generated for victims of food safety. And, btw, one of our clients' (once averse to Web 2.0) tweets appeared on the landing page of the New York Times. Not a bad week -- and that's NOT ALL, chickens, just what we choose to bore you with here...

Reader Comments

"Get it out earlier," moan our readers! (What ARE you suggesting?!) Seems folks are taking off for the beach before they can procrastinate over the TR. Oh, lads and ladies, we'll do our best. But our poor Culture Minister really is tasked with running the WHOLE FIRM, and the TR is just a part of that. Cut her a tiny break, would you?

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!


Suzanne said...

Katie -- Culture Minister -- THANK YOU FOR RUNNING THE WHOLE FIRM. What the hell would we do without you???? xxxoo Queenie

Suzanne said...

Another shout out for Nicky G:

"Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
Those were the days oh yes those were the days..."

Steven Grossman said...

Suzanne--I have never studied whether male nominees have an easier time in the Senate than female nominees. It may be true. However, comparisons with Huntsman don't work. He will be the best qualified person to ever be our ambassador to China. The story you linked to, alas didn't make a very good case for him. Here are his credentials: White House staff assistant, deputy assistant secretary of commerce for trade development, deputy assistant secretary of commerce for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. ambassador to Singapore (the youngest U.S. ambassador in a century). He is fluent in Mandarin. He also served as a deputy U.S. trade representative and U.S. trade ambassador. Being a governor isn't bad training, either. So, yes, he will probably get an easy confirmation hearing and people trying to be Supreme Court justices usually don't. It looks like apples and oranges to me.

Suzanne said...

Ooooh FDA Stevie bothering us with actual FACTS again. Seriously, though, totally agree that SCOTUS noms get a whole three-ring circus media intensive going over. Blame Roe or Bork or even John Marshall's elevation of the court in the early days of the Republic. But it's definitely different. As for you recitation of Huntsman's quals (Mandarin fluency in bold), obviously Sotomayor is equally qualified. I still maintain that the atmosphere was more racist than it would have been for a male candidate. Bush AG nominee Gonzalez was not told he would have some 'splainin' to do, for example.

Steven Grossman said...

Suzanne--You may be right that female nominees have a harder time than equally or less qualified males. And I wouldn't rule out some racism, if you can demonstrate your point. It is your comparisons that bother me. Huntsman is better qualified than any person ever nominated as ambassador to China. You have a harder time arguing that Sotomayor is better qualified than any person nominated to SCOTUS. She is likely to be a very good Justice and may develop into a star, but the comparison fails because there is no other job like being a Supreme Court Justice. Compare Sotomayor, O'Connor and Ginsburg's confirmations with the last 6 or 8 male nominees. If the women seem to be disadvantaged, then you really have proven your point.If your point is racism, then you need to compare with more than Gonzalez, whose nomination, confirmation and tenure were inglorious. Really don't disagree with you, just want better comparisons. Also, thanks for reminding me to plug my blog: Steven

Suzanne said...

Yo FDA Stevie - must we fight? I have conceded your points on the qualifications of your friend and the difference bt SCOTUS and other nominees. And I must remind you, as a formerly nationally ranked debater, that we are on blog time now, bay-bee - not Princeton first negative first affirmative. But, that said, the point made in the blog was partisan - Huntsman's an R, so love-fest likely, admitted qualifications notwithstanding. But my larger point was that women (and, yes, African American men, though less so) seem to drag a LOT MORE of other people's baggage into the arena. Witness the Hillary "nutcrackers" for sale at Reagan National Airport during the campaign. Or -- all doubts about Palin agreed and confirmed -- the quality of coverage re: guv. There's so much more to say, but blog commentary attention spans divert.... We mostly agree about everything -- must we stay focused here?

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