Friday, September 25, 2009

The TR: Qaddafi Can't Pitch His Tent, CNN's in the Line of Fire and Damn -- That Baby is Huge

This is becoming something of a weekly feature for us. Every week we find new cute pictures from the White House, and, you know what? We're not ashamed. THESE PEOPLE ARE ADORABLE. Also adorable: a dog riding a tandem bike. See? Not everything has to be super-serious all the time! Wait... what was that about Iran?

Forecast

Canadian Shakedown! Libya's Muammar el-Qaddafi wasn't welcomed with open arms during last week's trip to the U.S. American hotels refused him. He couldn't pitch his tent in Central Park (that's what she said!). And, even after calming down a little, he won't be getting hugs when he arrives in Newfoundland next week either. Instead he can expect a smackdown by Canadian's Prime Minister. Obama should have offered him an earful too, but we guess he's too busy trying to become Leader of the World.

The G-8 plans to expand into the G-20 on a more permanent basis to include a broader range of countries to confront global problems, including the economy. Most Americans probably don't care about this. Case in point: when asked if it still FEELS like a recession, people said: "Meh."

Maybe Democratic moneygivers were tapped out by the last Presidential election -- ya know, the incessant solicitations for HOPE and CHANGE and CASH. Or maybe it’s just the economy. Or maybe (ugh) it's Joe Wilson -- he's been raking in the dough, and the RNC is scurrying to get in contributions before the end of the month's reporting period so they can unseat Pelosi. Let’s hope that news stories about an extreme drop in fundraising inspire those with deep pockets to start refilling the coffers in the weeks ahead -- before Palin makes her move.

He’s still dancing, and our eyes still hurt. Tom Delay wasn’t booted from DWTS this week, despite polls showing an overwhelming dislike for the scandal-ridden former politico. So you still have another chance on Monday to get a good laugh in. While Delay believes the support he is receiving from members of Congress is sincere, we believe that they're just pulling a Sanjaya -- so we have someone to make fun of OTHER than Mark Sanford.
Can a marketing campaign propel Yahoo! over Google? Yahoo! executives are hoping millions of dollars can buy their way to the top as they launch a global marketing initiative next week. Despite throwing money at their Y!OU campaign, Queenie's team isn’t so sure the effort will work. Google is a terrifying powerhouse that isn’t likely to be toppled anytime soon -- and they are always watching.

This is a gigantic baby. We predict it will be a gigantic person. Check back with us in 20 years.

The Week That Was

The G20, like we said, had beefed up security in the ‘Burgh, but it doesn’t seem to have helped. Police looking like futuristic G.I. Joes stood by as a CNN reporter was hit with tear gas amid protests and riots. We had CNN on during the crazy-time speeches at the UN this week, but the biggest un-surprise (get it) for everyone was Iran's clandestine nuclear facility. Will this mean tougher stances and sanctions? Or more hot air?

Is it "one of the most serious terrorism cases in years", as the NY Times calls it, or are these things happening all the time? Maybe living in DC makes us think the latter, but this (and other cases) should not be taken off your radar just yet.

We've been trying to avoid mentioning Glenn Beck/FOX too much, but sometimes it just can't be avoided. The ACORN mess has put his name all over the airwaves, and especially now that ACORN is suing the "pimp and prostitute" who did the sneaky videotaping. And, for some reason we can't figure out, Glenn Beck Day is coming up. Luckily, SNL's great opening sketch last weekend did some of the snarking for us.

Painful cuts at CQ-Roll Call hit the waves this week, and, among mournful Tweets and blog posts, shots were poured. One more blow in the industry's long and sordid struggle with the Internet. Gotten laid off recently? Fishbowl DC is here to help.

And, for our local public transportation users, this was unnerving: Metro riders were locked in Van Dorn station for almost an hour late at night Thursday. Not the best way to end the week, huh?
Shameless Plug

Didja catch us at the Internet Advocacy Roundtable yesterday with Dr. Digipol himself? If you missed it, the podcast will be up soon, we swear.

Also, put this on the calendar: October 21 at the Rock and Roll Hotel (one of our Culture Minister's fave H Street spots), Dems, Repubs, House members, Hill staff and journalists are converging for KARAOKE NIGHT. We're all about bipartisanship, but don't think you can bribe THIS Culture Minister into getting on stage. She's got a reputation to uphold, ya know.

Scorecard

Ok, so maybe our mention of the G20 summit last week was a little too subtle. Next time we'll use all caps. Thanks, Internet!

DC reality update: are THESE the new housewives?

U2 concert next week, and looks like everyone in the city will be there. Let us know if it turns into an Obama-lovefest -- like most things around here do. If aging Irish rockers aren't really your thing (or, er, if the ticket price is just not do-able), you've got options: Chuck Brown tonight, trippy avant-garde music all weekend long and Barracks Row Oktoberfest on Saturday.

See you out and about!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The TR: Kanye is a Jackass, DC is Getting Really Real and That's It -- We're Banning Snuggies

This week’s been so bad it’s been bringing us to tears. Us, and Nancy, that is. Oh, and Kanye. And Jessica. And Republicans. And this guy. Look, chickens, it’s fall -- shouldn’t this mean pumpkin ale, candy, cute new boots and coats and trips to Shenandoah? And, if we’re lucky, maybe even healthcare reform! Oh, who are we kidding... here, this adorable White House picture is sure to heal your heavy heart.

Forecast

Healthcare. Healthcare. HEALTHCARE. With the debate focused so heavily on insurance reform, few other bills or issues are seeing much traction on The Hill™. We've said a lot about it already, and we're sure you're on top of this, but here's a thought: are Dems dancing into a trap?

Speaking of issues, food safety reform has been slowed despite an overwhelming majority of Americans supporting overhaul of our food safety system (you’d think epic cases of disease/recalls would push things along, right?). Despite ailing bridges, cramped roadways, and much needed mass-transit development, some are pushing for a hefty delay in House transportation committee chairman Jim Oberstar’s (D-MN) transportation bill. Next week he will call for a 3-month delay while others want (sigh) another year at minimum. And the climate bill (remember that little guy?) is slowly stalling and will probably cause some problems in Copenhagen.

With many of you packing your bags for the G20 summit in Pittsburgh next week, be sure to leave the rotten eggs at home. Police (at least, the ones that are actually showing up) are banning commonly-used resistance items, like gasoline, padlocks and eggs, from protestors at the summit. Assuming you believe in global warming and all that malarkey, maybe this is a good excuse to bring some eco-friendly riot accoutrements. Reclaimed wood night sticks? Egg-white substitute? Some goodies from your backyard compost heap? Get creative!

Also on the agenda this weekend: the Value Voter Summit! Another opportunity to mock conservatives, or Serious Business Time? You decide!

Our resident Fortuneteller sees parties in the future! At least, lots of Grand Opening Hooplah with a new “office” in DC for the government of Bermuda. No, they aren’t calling it an “embassy,” but they’ll surely want to show off the swanky new Capitol Hill digs.

As if there isn’t enough drama in DC already, Real Housewives of DC begins filming next week. We’re not sure who the lucky (well, maybe just “special”) ladies will be, but we’re sure that any reality show about DC will involve 1. sarcastic jokes about our collective fashion sense, 2. total ignorance of “real” issues in DC, like homelessness, HIV and Teabaggers, and 3. Obama, Obama, Obama! Politico has their own picks on who we might see on screen sometime soon, and the Huffington Post, not one to ride someone else’s wave of glory but create their own, has decided to produce their OWN sitcom about our fair city. Whatevs. If it’s not a version of Law and Order and it’s not about the President, we don’t think it’ll last.

The Week That Was

At least last week was a party! Am I right, Glenn Beck? Some of the best party coverage was from bloggers here at home, who ventured out into the unknown to see who thinks Obama is, like, stupid. Another favorite came from Billionaires for Wealthcare, and, OMG, watch their movie, please! You know, Dooce started a new site called "Monetizing the Hate," an idea we admire for its ingenuity, irony and moneymaking ability. Maybe THIS is how we could pay for healthcare! Take the millions of teabagger’s angry letters, emails and signs, slap it on a website, call it “transparent government,” and plaster the whole thing with Google Ads. (BarackObama.com, are you listening? You know that Turner does online work, right?)

As if we haven’t had enough of our dear President, he’ll be crawling all over the Sunday talk shows AND Letterman this weekend. But we love our Prez for more than just his good looks and overexposure. He totes called Kanye a jackass (off the record!) over the Taylor Swift incident (if you don't know what happened, Stephan Colbert will help you), and nobody was embarrassed by it (although Mr. Bush apparently has quite a history of talking trash, too). Thanks, Kanye -- the Internet loves you!

In yet another “oh, f&*k” moment this week, ACORN employees were caught giving illegal tax advice to a pimp and prostitute. As many people on Twitter said, we would LOVE to hear what kind of advice has been given to bank CEO’s and other executives. You know, because they ALWAYS follow the law.

Chris Brown began his community service in Virginia this week, and pictures have hit the web of him picking up trash by the side of the road. Apparently he's been Tweeting about it, too. We're glad he's serving his time, but stop doing him (or his publicist) the favor of giving him even MORE exposure, would ya? Let him be a criminal in peace.

Your friendly and ever-so-culturally-relevant Cultural Minister needs to make a special request of her public this week. Please, please, PLEASE stop forwarding her stories about the Snuggie fashion show at NY Fashion Week! Nobody attended, no one thinks it’s funny, and no one is racing out to the door to buy one of these things. So this is the last time we’re mentioning Snuggies here, okay? Put on a bathrobe! It's the same thing!

Shameless Plug

Speaking of being culturally relevant, Interfaith Voices is having a benefit concert on Saturday, October 3rd at 7:30 p.m. with Mosaic Harmony, a fabulous interfaith choir that has performed at the White House, the Kennedy Center and in Europe. Check out the performance at River Road Unitarian Church and buy your tickets in advance at InterfaithRadio.org.

Scorecard

Even more celebrity deaths this week, as we said goodbye to Patrick Swayze. What is UP with this summer? Here's hoping that fall will curb this morbid trend a little bit.

Did you catch the Queen's screed last week? A little extra tidbit for you. Thanks for staying with us, faithful readers -- you make it all worthwhile. See you next Friday!

Monday, September 14, 2009

With Despair

Our nation is faced with historically urgent problems, yet our political discourse is focused on lunacy. We must negotiate two wars, economic collapse of historic proportions, a dwindling middle class, working poor on the edge of oblivion, entitlement systems that must be reformed lest they completely crush our system (or become unavailable to those in need).

But the current conversation has the sole intent of misleading the populace into voting Republicans back into office in 2010. The far right message machine is brilliant -- faced with a worldwide economic crisis, anyone elected in 2008 would have been required to bail out the global financial system. Pre-painting Obama as a "socialist" knowing he was going to do what McCain would have done set up the entire subsequent dialogue.

We wrote the robber barons who created this crisis a blank check. They had a gun to our heads. Pump money into the system, or we face an unprecedented depression. This was done.

The teabaggers are protesting the very things that could one day save them from penury. Yet any attempt to pump up the fortunes of the common working man -- those very people the entire world economy relies upon to buy its goods and services and return our dilapidated system to some semblance of normalcy -- is dubbed "socialism."

I do not withhold my ire from the liberal and media elites. By ignoring, mocking and further disenfranchising the far right, we bring our country quite literally to the brink of Civil War. People are scared. We face unprecedented challenges. The media has collapsed and is incapable of anything but political name calling.

Real issues -- and an honest debate about how to address those issues -- is impossible in our current political and media climate. Our fate and the fate of the entire world hangs in the balance.

Our partisan divides will suffocate us. We need a White House that is clear in its vision. We need brave and resolute Republicans. We need a real Maverick to stand up among the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats -- someone like the John McCain of old -- not to further fan the flames for short-term political gain, but to say: "yes, we must fix this, and this is how we will work together."

Patriots among us -- let us not continue to screech untruths, let us seek to fix the seemingly insurmountable issues that face us. If you do not have a constructive alternative, if your only recourse is to yell "liar" or "socialist" or "right-wing nut jobs" then, please, look around you. Work for real, constructive change.

EXCERPT FROM FRANK RICH COLUMN 9/13/09:

The reason is that health care reform, while an overdue imperative, still is overshadowed in existential urgency by the legacies of the two devastating cataclysms of the Bush years, 9/11 and 9/15, both of whose anniversaries we now mark. The crucial matters left unresolved in the wake of New York’s two demolished capitalist icons, the World Trade Center and Lehman Brothers, are most likely to determine both this president’s and our country’s fate in the next few years. Both have been left to smolder in the silly summer of ’09.

As we approach the eighth anniversary of the war that 9/11 bequeathed us in Afghanistan, the endgame is still unknown and more troops are on their way. Though the rate of American casualties reached an all-time high last month, the war ranks at or near the bottom of polls tracking the issues important to the American public. Most of those who do have an opinion about the war oppose it (57 percent in the latest CNN poll released on Sept. 1) and oppose sending more combat troops (56 percent in the McClatchy-Ipsos survey, also released on Sept. 1). But the essential national debate about whether we really want to double down in Afghanistan — and make the heavy sacrifices that would be required — or look for a Plan B was punted by the White House this summer even as the situation drastically deteriorated.

Also posted to Feminism2.0

Friday, September 11, 2009

The TR: Teabaggers Take on DC, Stossel Jumps Ship and YOU LIE!!

Everyone on Twitter is sharing their "Where were you on 9/11?" stories (Jake Tapper's feed is a great read today), and we're sure you've been caught in the traffic outside. Avoid the Metro accidents and boat scares and hang out with the TR instead. Although we can't offer free burgers and bus rides, we're nice, safe AND entertaining. Invite us to your next potluck!

Forecast

With Democrats planning to move forward with the healthcare debate next week, unveiling a compromise bill and declaring they'll do it with or without Republican support, we can expect more whining from the radical right. Don't think this thing will get wrapped up nicely with a big ol' bipartisan bow? Neither do we. (By the way, didn't think reproductive rights will be included in the bill? We didn't either.) If anyone you know still needs help understanding this whole debate, however, this handy illustrated (stick figures!) video may assist.

Media update: as other publications begin to falter (we're looking at you, Drudge), Bloomberg is headed the other direction, with possible plans to expand their operation. Also, Google is developing a plan for newspapers to charge for content via micropayments. Also, look for Jenna Bush's debut as a reporter next week, and Mark Foley's radio show. (Think he'll talk about sexting?)

Dems are against war? That's crazy-talk! Reports are in that the Dems are again on Obama's case when it comes to the war in Afghanistan. According to the AP, "the White House is in the process of compiling a list of about 50 benchmarks to judge whether the military mission is working" by September 24. So much for party unity -- while Mr. Wilson was a great distraction during the speech last Wednesday, it may not have been enough.

So we'll totes be able to shimmy on down to the White House and pick up some fresh, Presidential produce (get your mind out of the gutter). This sounds like the perfect lunch date! Not that the Culture Minister is hinting or anything. Ahem. Expect to see lots of our favorite treehugger and lost hipster friends.

We here at Turner are really only interested in the pre-game parties and snarky new commercials of football season, but we do get a kick out of our friends who believe they're better at building teams than the pros are. Good luck, people.

Although the Oscars don't take place until next YEAR, you can fight for your rights to some bleacher seats starting next WEEK. Oh, America. Queenie is already plotting to buy her dress now, just in case. Rachel Zoe, where are you when we need you??

The Week That Was

We've been peeing ourselves with laughter over the outcry after YouLie!-gate. Poor Joe Wilson. He acted out a YouTube comment in real life! Unfortunately, Joe (a.k.a. "G.I. Joe," "The Next Sarah Palin," "Sticking to the Party Lines," "Tourettes," "My Website is Temporarily Unavailable," "Crap, How Much Money is Rob Miller Getting Again?") looks a little red-faced, but he's trying to capitalize on his moment. So much for sincere apologies.

Also capitalizing? The nutjobs, who are coming en masse to DC for some good old-fashioned teabagging. ThinkProgress has the scoop. WOOOO! TEAPARTY BUS! Hope you got your t-shirt!

So will Wilson apologize on the floor? Probably, since he did cross the line. You know, Tyson's Corner isn't that far away -- couldn't he stand out there with a sign? Is Joe Wilson racist? We'll leave that up to you. But it's true that it could have been anyone and that this lowers the bar for future Congressional behavior -- and that's not a surprise.

Anyway, enough already. There are now more Americans living in poverty than in the last 11 years, and the number of uninsured has reached 46.3 million. Priorities, kthx.

Is our babies racist? Or just crazy? Newsweek (with a lesson in "Provocative Covers 101") set out to see if our children see color a la Stephen Colbert, and the answer is, well, yes. Schools are also looking into having mental health experts and therapists on hand for children as young as preschoolers, which sounds sort of nutty in theory but might actually make sense. Parents out there? Give us your feedback!

John Stossel?! Our Culture Minister remembers watching him on 20/20 when she was in middle school. Seriously. Anyway, he’s jumping ship to Fox, and Queenie (and everyone else) sez, “It’s about damn time, mister.”

Have you been tracking the gender identification case of athlete Caster Semenya? The champion runner was made to undergo a controversial gender identification test after winning a gold medal at the 2009 World Championships. After weeks of publicity and possible coercion into a makeover, the 18-year-old’s test results may have been leaked, revealing that she is intersex and may be stripped of her medal. We can’t even begin to process the amount of misreporting and abuse this poor girl has gone through.

Finally, yes, we are really this desperate for material.

In Memoriam, 9/11 Edition

There are tons of great tributes all around the web and on Twitter, so we'll let them do the talking. Also, check out the September 11 Digital Archive.

Obama's Editorial on the NY Daily News

The Washington Post, Washington Marks Sept. 11 Anniversary

Associated Press, "9/11 Marked With Mourning and the Spirit of Service"

Julie Pippert, "The American People in Their Righteous Might"

BBC News, US Marks 9/11 Amid Shooting Scare

Chicago Tribune, Photo Tribute

9/11 -- The iPhone App

Scorecard

We're hitting the main points, as usual. But could you do us a favor and put the TR up on your Facebook page? We KNOW your friends would love us too!

So whatcha up to this weekend? The nerdier among you might be hitting up the Maryland Renaissance Festival, now on its third week. Poptarts might be hanging out with Perez Hilton at the 930 Club for his latest tour. Foodies can head over to Friendship Heights for some street snacks. Virginia girls like the Culture Minister can head to Old Town for a fun arts festival. And, to top it off, Adams Morgan is having a festival of their own. Stay busy, people!

Snark on and see you next week!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The TR: Gay Ice Cream, Kindergarten Socialism and, Nope, You Still Can't Pay Your Rent

There is too much to write about this week! Presidential attempts to indoctrinate the children, more on killing your grandparents and gay-friendly ice cream -- and that’s just the start of it. We’re sorry you’re back in the work trenches (happy September!); maybe our weekly snark-a-thon will cheer you up a little? That or the new Autotune the News, featuring T-Pain. Yep. Really.

Forecast

So the kiddos are back in school already, and Barack Obama wants to pep them up for learnin’! Clearly this is a liberal-driven Marxist conspiracy. And those little speeches Dubya did back in ’01 or his daddy did in ’91 were TOTALLY COOL, OKAY. Watch for the socialist propaganda to be released on Monday -- plenty of time for you to Xerox copies and light them on fire while you keep the kids at home on Tuesday. Bring the neighbors, too. No child left behind, people.

In related propaganda news, make sure you DVR Obama’s healthcare speech on Wednesday (and don’t forget Robin Roberts’ interview on ABC, too!) Like many of his speeches, it’s either going to be a bipartisan sell-out or an inspiring moment -- we’re taking bets now! Although Pelosi sez there’s no way we’ll move forward without a public option, O might find a work-around to “trigger” it. After a month of highly-publicized town hall meetings (fun anecdote: anti-reform dude gets finger bit off at healthcare rally, uses Medicare to reattach it), will this speech finally smooth the way for success? And what will the Repubs answer back with?

Sunday shows: we’ll see Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s first Sunday appearance on Face the Nation to discuss the President’s speech (strike) propaganda and David Axelrod, Tom Friedman and Tom Brokaw hittin’ up Meet the Press. Meh. Another one for the DVR. Doesn’t SNL start again soon? (PS: Shameless plug from our Culture Minister -- check out her friend Eli Kirshtein on the latest season of Top Chef: Las Vegas. GO ATLANTA!)

Diane Sawyer pulled a Katie and will be taking over for Charlie Gibson in the anchor chair, and people made a stink about it because 1) no one cares about evening news anymore, 2) they want to see if people don’t want to watch women on the news or it's just Katie Couric, and 3) did we mention she’s a woman? Insert catfight jokes here.

Ben and Jerry’s, we’re sure you’ve heard, is renaming Chubby Hubby to Hubby Hubby in celebration of gay marriage in Vermont. But you’ll have to make a road trip before October and show your support. Why only in Vermont, guys? That’s state-ism! DC is on the way -- will we get to see some tasty, thematic celebrations too? Sweetgreen, we’re looking at you.

The Week That Was

A few stories have hit about economic projections for 2010 -- basically, more of the same. Jobless recovery, slow rises projected for the next few years, you still can’t pay your f&%king mortgage, etc... i.e., this is still a leaky boat. But she’s floatin’! And jobs DO exist, we swear, especially in DC. To keep this message going, someone let Biden out to speech to the people, and, hey, not so bad, buddy. You stick to those talking points!

Obama’s green jobs guy has been called out for being a “truther” and for calling Republicans assholes (eh, we're guilty of that second one, too), and the White House has no comment. (Well, duh.) We don’t think this is going to stick around for another news cycle, but FOX News and Michelle Malkin are on it. Dear Obama administration: GOOGLE. But seriously, folks, take some time to read this piece by Rudy Ruiz from RedBrownandBlue.com and think before you Tweet about birthers, truthers, death panels, all of it. Just sayin’.

News about Afghanistan has been popping up everywhere this week. Security guards in Afghanistan have been fired for “lewd behavior” and drunkenness. The Associated Press published a picture of a dying soldier over his family and the Pentagon’s objections. Government stability is not looking great after potentially fraudulent elections. And we’ve been debating expanding our presence there. There’s not much snarky we can say about this, peeps -- just don’t forget that we’re still in Iraq, even though we’re not seeing it as much above the fold.

The King of Pop was FINALLY buried in Glendale, CA, on Thursday, but the investigation is ongoing. Anyone else find it creepy that it took that long?

Note to state legislators playing solitaire while they’re supposed to be legislating: this is much more entertaining, FYI. (Note from Culture Minister to Queenie: “I totally have never played this. I swear.”)

Scorecard

Happy Labor Day Weekend, y'all -- one last hurrah! There is LOTS to do in DC at this time of year, so if you're stuck at home this weekend, be grateful you're avoiding the traffic and hit up a festival or two. Why not? Find our Culture Minister out at the 80's film festival in Rosslyn tonight, if you're free. It's Ferris Beuller's Day Off night!

Have a great weekend, and see you on Tuesday!