Friday, August 7, 2009

The TR: Born in the USA? Granny, Get Your Gun! and Happy Birthday, Mr. President

How are those tan lines, chickens? Judging by the tumbleweeds rolling by our office windows, seems like everyone's "telecommuting." Right. Careful with that laptop at the pool, k? We don't think the IT guys will accept "surprise cannonball" as an excuse for a replacement.

Forecast

Congress is on a long August vacation, Sotomayor has been confirmed (a little anti-climactically!), and the rest of America is out buying new rides thanks to an additional cash dump into the CFC program. All's quiet on the Capitol Hill front in the coming week. We still have the airwaves, and interwebs, though! This weekend expect more chatter about North Korea and Bill Clinton's swagger. It was so magical, after all, to see our journalists returning to American soil after more than five months in captivity.

However, North Korea isn't likely to dominate the airwaves with bit city mayors concerned about unemployment rates. (You could always do like this recent college grad, who sued her alma mater when she couldn't find a job. H'ray! America!) You can watch Bloomberg and Booker come together on Meet the Press Sunday, while national security and defense dominates Face the Nation.

Expect more GOP crazy. Just FYI.

Hillary won't be watching the Sunday shows, joining in street protests, or taking a much needed beach vacation. She'll be touring the continent of Africa, talking up the need for South Africa to aid the world's economic recovery as well as pushing for reducing the impacts of global climate change.

Want a break from beltway news? Keep your eyes open for pictures to emerge of Who's the Boss star Alyssa Milano's wedding party. They are expected to begin gathering in New Jersey for a private wedding planned for the 15th. Hopefully this one can top the one-year mark, unlike her last marriage... If Hollywood is not enough, grab your chili dogs and beer to watch America's favorite pastime. Some on Queenie's team are already counting down the days till the playoffs, and are marking our calendars for the "must see" games ahead. And, hell, even if you're not into it, go snag some $10 seats and check out our fancy-shmancy stadium. This is DC -- you're not here for the sports!

The Week That Was

Happy belated, Barry! We saw all sorts of cute impromptu parties around town in celebration of the President's birthday (what do you think of his cake: tacky or "dignified?"), but kudos to him for passing the love along to Helen Thomas. Such a nice young man.

Ironic that last week and early this week was all about birthers, no? If anything, it's been another chance to come up with fun nicknames ("the Noah's Ark of Stupid" might be the best so far, although "Orly Taitz" is a close second...), wonder why fully 24% of Virginians polled were going along with this, and make our own Kenyan birth certificates. But don't let your wild liberal paranoia cloud your judgment, y'all -- these are just the crazies taking over a (long) news cycle. Let Lou Dobbs and Chuck Norris set the record straight.

As this lovely piece puts it, "...[t]he birthers have now given way to the 'deathers,'" those beloved wack jobs that think proposed changes to the healthcare system are aimed to kill old people and babies en masse. (Granny, get your gun!) Kruggie's column today pins the organizing on two "grasstops" ("AstroTurf") groups, one run by Dick Armey and the other by a former healthcare exec. Yeah... real grassroots can't afford robocalls. Bottom line: the Bush administration would not let anyone but supporters into their rallies. Remember? The people disrupting one of today's rallies all raised their hands when asked if they were on Medicare -- umm, helloooo! A government-run healthcare system! *facepalm* Hooliganism.

Just after the Catholic Church of England and Wales warned us that social networking is suicide, Twitter was ATTACKED. We. Were. TERRIFIED. We felt naked. Jittery. Confused. It was a very unsettling three hours, folks. But Twitter (and Facebook and Livejournal and Blogger) survived, and we lived to Tweet about how scared we were. Phew.

Paula Abdul is leaving American Idol after a fight over salary negotiations, and despite all the mocking (c'mon, she's an easy target), we're with her. How come nobody's talking about the potential for sexism, here? Sure, they think she's a nutjob, but the fact remains that even the raise she wanted was a fraction of what her male co-stars are getting. Just think about it.

In Super Awesome Fun Political Humor News (what, birthers weren't enough for you?), we're as obsessed with Autotune the News as everyone else, and the new one is out! Learn to talk like Laura Bush and Sarah Palin, thanks to Jezebel, and Michael Steele is pro-phone prank. Finally, Jon Stewart takes it home -- when Sean Hannity said Obama is destroying the America he grew up in, Stewart replied, "I think that's because the America you knew and grew up in was segregated." Who said having a Democratic Prez would leave us nothing to joke about?

In Memoriam, "Anything more than a handful and you're risking a sprained thumb" Edition

This beautiful blog post about John Hughes really sums it up for us, even though Queenie is an early Gen-X/late Baby Boomer ("No cultural niche... the drugs without the revolutionary fervor and Reagan without the sense of displacement and irony") and the Culture Minister is a wee young Millennial ("So what have I got? Skinny jeans, 9/11 and 'sexting?' Tyra is NOT my Walter Cronkite.") However, we've BOTH seen Breakfast Club, and we are both on Twitter, so we're a little upset too. Here's to the '80s, John Candy and the imminent global Hughes Netflix binge.

Flagrant Self-Promotion

The Food Safety Enhancement Act passed the house last week! Scores of op/eds went up around the country by victims' families in support -- all while we were setting up a full UK media tour in under an hour on a completely different topic, and all other sorts of good stuff. Yep, tooting our own horn. You would too.

Scorecard

For all of you who groused that we took a week off... WE'RE BAAAAACK! (Intermittently, at least!) We missed you too!

Summer's almost over, so get those last minute vacations in while you can! If you still need something to do this afternoon, here. This will kill 20 minutes.

See you next week!

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