Friday, December 18, 2009

The TR: Cutting Down Healthcare, Decorating Bernanke and Returning the Gift of Joe Lieberman

Dear President Obama: We're scared. Not of these people in banana suits. Of the Republicans who are actually embracing this tea-bagging thing -- and NOT just the crazy ones. Your own party has been nervous and uncomfortable for weeks now, and it's starting to boil over. We're looking to you for a comforting fist-bump or two, sir. As a country.

Forecast

It's been a while since we truly snarked it up, and holy crap! What is happening? First off, Copenhagen. A "perturbed" Obama and an emphatic Hillary delivered speeches encouraging compromise from developing nations (spec. China), but nothing has been set in stone just yet, even though peeps are scrambling today for a last-minute deal on the "Copenhagen Accord." Watch for coverage, as talks are expected to last long into the night. Thom Yorke from Radiohead is asking world leaders to... why the hell is Thom Yorke in Copenhagen?

SNOW! Ack! House reps are fleeing Copenhagen so they won't get stranded overseas. Of course, DC flips out over heavy rain, so just the TALK of multiple inches of snow is making everyone paranoid -- even when they're on entirely different CONTINENTS. Don't believe us? Go check your Twitter feed.

Congress has been hustling on last-minute "not healthcare" votes so they can go home and be with their families or whatever, and that means February is gonna be juuust great. This clusterf%$# is unfortunately making a lot of us miss important votes, like this one where Repubs blocked war funding to delay healthcare legislation, or this one putting increased sanctions on Iran.

Next up: healthcare. It's been pretty much apeshit, what with throwdowns between Ben Nelson and Senate Democrats to hit the 60-majority, and the loss of the Medicare buy-in. Tensions are so high in the Senate that even holding Senators to their time limits is causing "scandal" and "funny Kanye spoofs." Lieberman, already pissing off pretty much everybody, may have endangered the bill's passage. And it's diluted to the point that attempts to really reform healthcare are getting lost. Kruggie has some choice words for progressives and the obstructionists that are f%$#ing up the process, adding to the split in the progressive camp between scrappin' the whole thing and passing it no matter what.

Here's a forecast for ya: the Royal Advisor and Queenie will feel confused when they see this giant bubble poking out of the top of the Hirshhorn. Art? Is THAT art? Someone explain this to us!

The Week That Was

TIME's Person of the Year was NOT Queenie, shockingly -- it was the Wizard of Oz Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve Chairman whom no one thinks deserved it. Maybe he should have gotten a Nobel Prize instead? Hey-oh!

In news that crossed our desks, made us go "WTF" and then promptly fell off our radar, Michael Steele is pretty much the coolest boss ever and Berlusconi, the Italian Premier, got punched in the face. Yep -- the world has pretty much gone to hell.

But wait! Hot damn! Marriage equality in DC, y'all! At least ONE cool thing happened.

But, oh no, guess who got hacked? Was anybody awake to see Twitter defaced by the Iranian Cyber Army?

Queenie is a Navy brat, and gets to hear all the time about the REAL military experience -- thanks, Dad! That stuff is HARD. Things go wrong, systems get compromised, Jack Bauer gets involved. It's very real. But everyone loves a good hacking story. Hearing about insurgents intercepting video feeds from Predator drones just made Queenie think of this. These stories have and will get published, so don't flip out, ok?

There are so many "Top ____ of 2009" lists right now! For grammar nerds, the year in media corrections. For journalism nerds, the top 10 stories you missed AND the top 50 headlines of the year. For the snarkiest, the top 10 worst predictions. Screw it: here's the top 10 everything of 2009, ok? Now be good and waste the rest of your workday nicely, kids!

Interweb Tomfoolery

To those who put up Christmas Trees: your tree is now on Twitter, and he is PISSED.

Queenie watched 24 obsessively for the first few seasons (can you tell from all the Jack Bauer references this week?), but it's been a while since it was any good. And THIS is what she missed. "WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR... SANTA?!"

This isn't really web-related but it's been making the rounds today: a four-year-old got drunk and stole Christmas so he could be with his daddy in jail. We really couldn't make that up.

Here, this will make you feel better: the rockin'-est Nativity scene ever. (Although for the record, we are NOT pro-Chris Brown. We're actually pro-Stephen Colbert, who is NOT pro-bears, although this bear is pro-lions and tigers, and that is awesome.)

Finally, speaking of tigers, Queenie's Tiger Woods Mistress Name is Tiff Smith from Germany. The Royal Advisor's is Mary Lee from Alabama. What's yours?

Scorecard

Didja have a nice time partying with us? Thank you SO MUCH for helping us celebrate our brand new Queenie-boo! (Was way too mortified to make a decent speech, but loved all the bowing down and handkissing, natch.) We sure are lucky to have such amazing Royal Subjects!

Find Queenie harking back to her Polish roots and baking kolaches this weekend (but don't ask for the recipe, or her Royal Grandmother will have to Jack Bauer you) and checking out Invictus (Matt Day-mon!). Also, get ready for DC Restaurant Week coming up in January -- Queenie HIGHLY recommends Volt by Should-Have-Won-Top-Chef Bryan Voltaggio (swoon!). Still need some holiday fun ideas? Go test out your DJ skills next Tuesday at ESL, and, um, watch a holiday movie on the side of a building near Turner Central. ...Yeah, we don't get it either.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The TR: Calling All Our Loyal Subjects!

REGIME CHANGE

It's official, ladies and gents. Tonight... a Royal Coronation!

Come join us at the Royal Court -- the Jazz Bar at the 18th Street Lounge, that is -- and be a part of the official Sceptre Toss!

Our brand new Queen of Snark is getting crowned tonight and there are big changes in store.

Ack! Whattaya Mean, "Changes?"

It means that 2009 is on her way out and we'll be changing up the way we do things around here. Maybe a new look? Maybe some fresh content? At the very LEAST gratuitous use of flowcharts. Feel free to email us with what you'd like to see for the new year!

And don't be TOO worried -- we're still going to bring you the same brand of Grade A snark and media savvy that we've always provided.

Still concerned? Ssshhh, darling... we can talk about it tonight over cocktails and Tiger Woods jokes.

See you then, and see you next week!







PS: And to those of you celebrating Hanukkah tonight, have some latkes for us and thank Orrin Hatch for writing this song just for you.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The TR: Riding the Tiger, Gay Marriage Fail and All Hail the Comcast Overlords

In between bites of the supergross leftovers sandwiches you made after Turkey Day and going to see that vampire movie, it's okay if you forgot about the news. And maybe you forgot about the Prez's speech this week because you were hoofin' it on the treadmill like Queenie. But we KNOW you heard about Tiger. There's a lot to catch up on, class! Books out, welcome back!

Forecast

Now that that whole Afghanistan thing is done with (we're being sarcastic, people), the focus is shifting to jobsjobsjobs. The President has embarked on his White House to Main Street tour, starting in Allentown, PA, and doing what he does best: talkin'. His jobs summit and the resulting numbers are shifting the conversation, and it's clear that it's all the more necessary to make it look like the WH is doing something, even if that is to point and say, "Look! Improvement!" Expect punditry.

Also on next week's menu: O is headed to Copenhagen for the worldwide summit (we've been talking about it for so long we can't believe it's FINALLY happening). We're expecting more grand declarations with not a lot of follow through -- you know, the usual -- but in the wake of ClimateGate perhaps the summit will get a little more attention. Especially since Sarah's on the case!

We totally annoyed that MSM is took so long to catch on to the abortion and women's health legislation that could leave women's rights hanging in the balance, but, hey, as long as they're paying attention and the country starts hearing about it. Discussion is increasing about the recently-passed Mikulski amendment and the potential for an amendment barring abortion coverage in the Senate bill. Women, get yourselves out there if you're concerned about your reproductive rights. These women did.

Well, crap. So much for net neutrality. Comcast and NBC have merged in a huge business deal, which means they'll own a vast amount of the media you're watching (of course, they already do, but that's beside the point). Not nervous? Here. And Google is cracking down on paid content, closing the loophole that allowed users to read subscription websites for free. Look, we get that the Internet and the expansion of free media has made the TV and news industry a little desperate for viewers/money. But Comcast's move to own both the media and the way you view it means even less control over what you get to watch. Does that sound good to you?

Metro is outta cash, and this could mean fare hikes. You heard it here first.

The Week That Was

So are you supporting the President's plan for Afghanistan or are you against it? We just want to remind you: Obama said he would escalate troops in Afghanistan in his campaign for President, so what he decided isn't much of a surprise, and neither is NATO's contribution. But by no means is he wanting this to last forever, and we're curious if he'll really start bringing our troops home in July of 2011.

We don't know when gay marriage will finally become legal in all the 50, but New York certainly let us and our entire Twitter stream down when they voted against. Amazing, since everyone's been posting this amazing speech ever since. DC, however, was a small blessing, and New Jersey is now fired up to vote. Here's hoping this isn't a sign of momentum sizzling.

There has been more coverage of Tiger Woods' infidelity than pretty much anything else in the past few days, and, yes, we know we're only contributing to it right now, but daaammmnnn! We DO love a scandalous voicemail or two, ESPECIALLY when it's remixed into an R&B slow jam. Thanks for the distraction from the real world, Tiger!

Oh noes. Tai Shan, the National Zoo's only surviving giant panda cub, is finally off to China. Make sure to get your goodbyes in soon, everyone.

We had a LOT of fun with protest signs this year, so take a look back at some of the best of '09.

Fun Internet Things

Since we spend so much time on the web (it's our job!) we can't help running into funny/amazing/gross/weird things. Comes with the territory, really. So instead of hiding them throughout the TR like we've BEEN doing, this new section will help gather some of the latest amusing tidbits so you can share with all your friends. And then they'll think you're even MORE cool and hip. And then you can give us credit. H'ray!

Fun with eggs: remember this for your holiday baking party!

This is a little late, but if you plan on brushing your teeth tonight, remember to do it like a Spartan.

More Thanksgiving leftovers: did you see Paula Deen get hit in the face with a ham? Yeah, we felt bad for laughing too.

Cool nerd stuff: Google Street View of the ancient Pompeii ruins. Vacations are overrated, anyway.

Turns out Oxford University is actually Hogwarts. WE KNEW IT.

Nonja the orangutan is a total Facebook addict, but we're weirdly okay with it. Until she figures out Mafia Wars. Then we unfriend her. (Also in Facebook news, if Queenie's royal boyfriend did this at the altar, she'd totally change their relationship to "It's Complicated." Just warning you now, sweetie!)

Klingon is all the rage right now. If you have no idea what that means, just pretend you didn't hear us say that. You'll be happier that way.

Scorecard

HEY! Did you get our invitation to the Turner Holiday Party this year? If you're already in, awesome. If not... well, we can't say we'll miss you much. (Kidding!) Come hang out with Queenie and her royal court next Friday so you can show us all the snarking you've learned this year.

See you next week!