Friday, January 29, 2010

The TR: A Glimmer of Hope, a Whisper of Change and the Coming of iJesus

Right as we are writing this introduction, journalists on Twitter are abuzz with the amazing-ness of Obama, who was live on the TeeVee and taking questions from Republicans. The consensus? Total bad-assery from our Prez, much to Republican chagrin.

WOOOOOO! YEAH, BARACK! Is this the future of transparency in politics? We sure flippin' hope so. And it's so comforting to a Democratic party that's been confused and, as some would say, neutered. We really need this momentum to keep going, folks. (If that's not motivational enough for you, check out this adorable picture of kitten teamwork. ...That's a metaphor, people.)

Check out the rest of our beloved TR today for the low-down and the faint silver lining we see under the recent political storm clouds. (Also a metaphor. For the English major in all of us!)

Forecast

President Obama's got his work cut out for him in the coming months: sealing the deal with healthcare reform, job creation, energy, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Afghanistan, Iraq AND reminding Chris Matthews that he's black. We're hopeful at TR Central, but considering how the last year has fared for the administration, we fear much will end up in the gutter.

And, honestly, everyone's feeling the heat with another retirement, a challenger appearing in Arizona (thank goodness for Sarah), and Biden's son saying he won't run for his father's former seat. This is sooo not the time to fall apart!

So is there any hope we can believe in? Former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe is back on board as an outside advisor in the wake of all these bad times. Instead of roughing it up like Rahm, maybe he'll extend the olive branch to progressives and steer the Obama WH back on course. Or maybe we're just ridiculously optimistic. But expect rabid punditry this weekend and beyond about Obama's speeches in the past few days and his plans for the future.

Ben Bernanke has survived the populist uprising (doesn't that accurately describe our Senate?). That's all fine, but his real mission? Help us get our fragile confidence back. At least enough to put down the $500 for that iTampon everyone's talking about (more on that later).

Don't know how many of you are felons (and don't tell us), but, if you have the political bug, Governor Rick Perry's campaign might be the right place for you! Just don't say we sent you over.

The Week That Was

Obama's speech couldn't have come at a better time -- Dems across the country want to see their leader fight for their issues, and while it started slow, maybe we're finally getting it. We SO wanted another Joe Wilson outburst, and to see Nancy giving the evil eye, but to our dismay, Republicans kept their mouths shut. Erm, except this guy. We're sure you've already read all about it but here is some fact checking, just in case.

By the way, our TR Goddess Divine is checking in this week with two things: her favorite SOTU Facebook status: "glad we had Leno/Letterman saga to distract us from the collapse of the middle class;" and her favorite SOTU Tweet: "RT @sistertoldja "What ya'll wanted me to clean up all this mess in just one year? Magic Negroes are only in the movies!"

Going undercover as repairmen. That's classic. Louisiana Watergate -- that's what the state Democratic Party chair is calling an attempt by four men to "manipulate" Senator Mary Landrieu's phones in her New Orleans office. It feels so skeezy and icky and slimy for lots of reasons, but expect conservative talking heads to attempt to brush this doozy by the MSM and distract us with something else -- oh, wait.

The greatest movie ever? Well, no, but box office receipts don't lie. Avatar became the highest grossing film of all time, raking in more than $1.8 billion of your hard-earned money (in a recession, no less!).

Do you own a Toyota? We're sorry.

There were a number of poignant farewells to J.D. Salinger in the past couple of days, but Queenie thinks the best way to tribute is to read. Check out his works for free online.

Interweb Tomfoolery

For Apple die-hards, this past Wednesday was a message from iJesus himself. However, as Twitter groaned under the weight of the rabid Apple geeks desperately Tweeting their joy, sneaky women with crude tampon jokes began to infiltrate. Within days, there have been more iPad jokes than we could have possibly imagined existed, and we love every single one of them. Also obligatory: Bill Gates table-dancing.

Another new site to dawdle away the day with: Awkward Stock Photos. Tell. Everyone.

Speaking of iJesus... The Pope embraces the digital age. Go forth and Tweet!

But watch your short-links: Major Garrett, WH Correspondent for Fox News, had to apologize thrice and then told us to "take a hike" after, whoops, Tweeting out some soft-core porn links in the middle of SOTU coverage. Bless you, Fox News. Bless you.

Kind of cool: the top 10 famous last words of all time (we're partial to #10 ourselves). What will your last Tweet be?

If only our President encouraged eating pork and doin' it, like Argentina's does. Way to be lame, America.

Queenie was an English major (and regrets nothing!), but follow this flowchart to find out what you should have been.

This is such a great idea! Axe Cop is a web-comic written by a five-year-old and drawn by his older brother, and we love it. The site is down due to traffic overload but check out the first few strips here.

Scorecard

Y'all loved our drankin' game! And we loved giving it to you. If you actually followed the rules and subsequently died, however, please don't sue! (That rhyming, by the way, was totes inadvertent and tells Queenie that she may have a future in freestyle rapping. She'll let you know how that pans out.)

Will you be with the Prez at the Georgetown-Duke basketball game Saturday? Hmm, maybe now you will. Elsewhere around the city, catch Queenie -- a known yoga freak -- at Universal Relief, a benefit for Haiti victims that involves cupcakes, yoga, live music and art. That's, like, four of the best things ever!

Finally, for tonight's Campaigns and Elections POLITICS Magazine's Reed Awards Goddess Divine Suzanne is listed among the judges between Joe Trippi and Christine Todd Whitman. As it's too cold to actually attend the event, we may as well give it some love here, no?

Gosh, longest TR ever. See you next week!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Special to the TR: Queenie's "Keeping It Real" SOTU Drinking Game

There are quite the plethora of drinking games and watch parties going on for Barry's lil ol' speech tonight. We've been getting links to them all over the place!

The Huffington Post is a popular choice.

Best line: "When Obama says 'Let me be clear, change isn't easy, make no mistake,' he's screwing with you to get you drunk, so five shots."

This looks a little more official.

Best line: The Republican Response Bonus Game. If the Guv'nah "refers to VA's long history of fighting for 'states' rights,' toss one back "after shouting, 'The South will rise again!'"

Asylum's SOTU Drinking Game looks good -- a little more structured, anyway.

Best line: "Players: In the interest of bi-partisanship, Republicans and Democrats play by the same rules, and independents are the designated drivers. Sorry, you should have made up your minds by now. Democrats will take up a collection to buy all the booze, plus to pay for the booze the Republicans agreed to pay for under Bush, but didn't actually end up paying for. Republicans must complain and bring boxes of tea bags.

This one out of San Francisco actually looks really fun.

Best line: "As soon as Mister Obama starts a defense of Cap & Trade, everybody must drink a whole beer then throw the empty can at the television. If anybody hits Harry Reid in the head, everyone else has to drink 3 shots of beer."

Queenie thought to herself, "Well, these are funny and all, but do any of them really get to the heart of the matter? Do any of them capture what's really at stake here, for Obama and for [dramatic pause] ...America?"

So here's the deal, kiddos - we're gonna focus on the most important part of this speech. Queenie's game is one rule, and one rule only:

Every time Obama says "JOBS," take a shot.

And when you wake up tomorrow morning with a pounding headache and vague sense of hopelessness, imagine how Congress feels.



See you Friday, chickens!








PS: For bonus points, check out Hillary's one hour special airing right before the speech tonight and take a shot every time you feel a hint of bitterness.

PPS: You know, on second thought, never mind. Wouldn't want you to end up in the hospital or anything.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The TR: I Voted for Change and All I Got was this Lousy T-Shirt

My poor, poor lords and ladies... please don't cry. We know this has been a terrible, terrible week, and you've all just been racked with sobs when you turn on the TV and hear even more bad news for Dems. But take hope! If there's one thing we're good at, it's being the underdog, and maybe with a little change in our mindset (and, oh, I don't know, growing a pair) we can get that team spirit back! Right? It's either that or learn to speak "Teabagger."

Forecast

It's official! President Obama's state of the union address will be next Wednesday (with rebuttal by none other than VA Guv'nah Mickey D), and no doubt Barry will be discussing Haiti and America's response to the crisis. What else will be on his mind? Oh, not much... we're thinking health care reform, his next golf game, taking on the banking industry, and jobs, lunch, Afghanistan and Iraq... AND his aides have already confirmed that he'll wade into deficit-talk... and oh, hey, this nutjob campaign finance reform BS... (but that little thing is just tangential, right?)...

OMG WRONG. People have been pretty much sounding the death-knell on Twitter and our other much-beloved social networks since the Supreme Court decided to allow corporations to freely finance political campaigns. Yeah, yeah, free speech, but SERIOUSLY?! We'll let the eloquent words of our Western Office Director speak for us: "In my mind it is the most disturbing political development to happen in a long time. Essentially means our elected officials might as well have corporate logos stamped onto their foreheads. Instead of the Senator from the Great State of New York -- it will be the Senator from the Great Tower of AIG."

Despite all this, the health care "reform" debate will continue (Barry will address this in Ohio today), and a compromise will eventually be agreed upon - be it a bill or a cancellation of the whole damn thing. But with Brown's victory, and fearful incumbents, there probably won't be much left to reform in pending legislation. Is this reconciliation time?

The peacock says adios (or is it the other way around?): Conan has been released by NBC to pursue future endeavors, and his last show will be tonight. But don't fear for Coco! He (and his staff) are rumored to be making big bucks on his way out, and he is so hot right now that he's getting offers left and right. As for Jay (who will be hosting nerdprom this year), he returns in March, and with all the bad press around this whole debacle, we're sort of betting that it'll be flop-tastic.

The NY Times wants to charge for content, and, in a ballsy move, is doing it in 2011. And this weekend YouTube will be entering the world of paid content, charging for viewing Sundance movies online. Look, you can yap away about free content all you want, but go check your bank statement and let me know how much you paid Apple for some songs and that episode of LOST you missed. Somebody somewhere WILL pay, and that's what these people are counting on. That or you using your digital piracy skillz.

The Week That Was

Last week's earthquake that devastated Haiti is still on everyone's minds, and we have seen the tremendous generosity of so many help rebuild the island nation. But, as you can guess, there is a huge need for security forces, sanitation and even more money. You still have plenty of opportunities to help (including wearing this hip t-shirt), and you can read Obama's editorial about what America can and needs to do in the aftermath if you need some inspiration. And please... ignore the idiots.

Back home, (the following link is NSFW, but that just means you'll click it real quick and then delete your browsing history, so whatever, go for it) model-turned-Senator-elect Scott Brown was the winner of Tuesday's special election to fill the seat of the late Senator Ted Kennedy and will be sworn in. There was a resounding yell of fury from everyone who was deluded into thinking he wouldn't win (seriously, y'all -- Queenie called this a week before it happened). But even more interesting were the numbers: FOX viewership exploded the day of, while CNN, MSNBC and others lagged harder than Jay Leno. Remember what Queenie said about rallying Teabaggers?

Even before the election, Democratic leaders were forming a circular firing squad, blaming each other for a train that had left the rails. This case study should be a warning for things to come in the fall: NEVER fall asleep at the wheel. The six week nap between Martha’s primary victory and Tuesday’s election proved to be disastrous, but hopefully a lesson. Take out your frustration however you like.

In other news, we were all like DUH and John Edwards was like, “LOL! No, seriously,” and then we were like *sigh.* Johnny, now there’s no going back. Good luck trying to salvage some good karma in Haiti, bro.

Today is Blog for Choice day around the Internet (yay!), yet Queenie has been in hiding from the pro-life marchers hanging around town (eek!). Except... wait... VIRTUAL MARCH?! She’ll keep the rest of her comments about this to herself, but had to share this story about new requirements for women to paint their nurseries and buy baby toys before they are allowed to have an abortion. Scariest part? That’s not that far from the truth.

Interweb Tomfoolery

This is a great way to leave your mark on a campaign contribution. Anonymous sincerity is best.

Heidi Montag’s new (gross, icky, transfigured, frightening) face after a ridiculous number of plastic surgeries is making everyone squeamish. $10 says you type her name in Google and search for more pics in 3... 2...

Everyone uses electronics, but here is a great way to see how your companies rate on a green scale. It’s not difficult to see how so many people own electronics designed and built by "bad" manufacturers. Queenie should be ashamed of the computer she is using to type this!

Our new favorite Twitter account: you know the Microsoft Office paper clip? Yeah, he’s wasted, and he would like to talk to you.

Another Martha goes down...

Commonly used slang terms with awesome origins. Impress someone at Happy Hour!

SPACE TWEETS.

A Coco Reqiuem -- before his last episode, five great moments. Thank you, Internet.

Sometimes Queenie makes popular culture references to rap songs or other such notable musical trends. Here is a handy website that will translate this newfangled musicality for the luddites among us (and we say that with love, Grandma!).

Another GOP fail. AND, ironically, a GOP win!

Scorecard

Look, cheer up! Didja miss the Jersey Shore kids last week? You have another chance Feb. 12 at the Shadow Room with DJ Pauly D. Stop pretending you don’t watch this show, will you? Queenie knows better! However, who is MORE awesome: Pauly D or Mary J. Blige, who will be honored at Marvin on Monday? (How’s that for some fancy alliteration?) Finally, Kathy Griffin is here, and Queenie LOVED her last show at the Kennedy Center, so it’s highly recommended.

Take a Xanax (or a nap, at least) and get ready to grin and bear it. Queenie is counting on you to stay the course!

Have a wonderful week and see you next Friday!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The TR: Helping Haiti, Hoping for Healthcare and Queenie's New Nickanme is "Orange Juice"

Hello, our faithful friends! This has been one mother of a week - we're all feeling for Haiti and have been mobilizing our friends to help. Not to mention feeling for Conan and mobilizing Jay Leno to feel very ashamed of himself. And feeling for the healthcare bill and mobilizing Congress to freaking get it done already. Read on for the full scoop -- and your survey answers from last week!

Helping Haiti -- Calling All the Court!

The overwhelmingly destructive earthquake in Haiti has been the major story in the news this week and will continue to be in the days and weeks ahead. President Obama has encouraged Americans to do what they can to assist in the relief of the Caribbean nation, and it's resulted in the most donations ever collected through mobile tech in history, but so much more is needed. The U.S. government has chipped in $100 million, so far, and two former Commanders in Chief have been enlisted to raise funds for Haiti. We here at the TR highly encourage helping (um, duh): Queenie donated through Citizen Effect to help CARE staff on the ground, but there are many, many ways to help. Go to it!

Forecast

The journalists on our Twitter feed have been buzzing with the news that Obama is headed to Massachusetts. He IS a fabulous campaigner, or so we hear, but here's hoping this doesn't do anything to muck up her lead. Like, you know, rallying up the Teabaggers or something. Oops, did anyone hear us?

If Coakley loses her race, the seemingly forward move on healthcare we heard about this morning could suddenly be a step back. Yeah, we thought it might be getting closer to reform too, but you can't predict with these people. Expect Sunday chatter (somewhat) and speculation until the 19th.

So, is Google going to pull out of China altogether? Probably. After asserting that hackers have attempted to infiltrate the e-mail accounts of activists, they've started a little firestorm that has blossomed into full government intervention, and we'll have to see if Google finally sticks to its guns about censorship. In the meantime, the Chinese are sending their thanks.

Obviously Haiti will continue to be in the news, but we're just praying that the emphasis will be on helping those who need it to rebuild their lives, not saying they made a pact with the Devil or something equally ridiculous. By this we mean: don't bother watching Fox this week.

The Week That Was

As if things aren't looking bad enough for Democrats come the fall midterms, Majority Leader Harry Reid was discovered to have had an unflattering observation of then-candidate Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic primary. Adding to that is his scuff over an alleged backstabbing by reliably unreliable 'independent' Joe Lieberman. Polls over the coming weeks will show Reid in dire straits among his constituents, so bring out the popcorn if you enjoy car crashes, kids.

Our favorite former moose-huntin’ governor is already a hit with the informed audience over at Fox News. She started off with a GRILLING from another out-of-this world commentator. Oh, and if you would like to cover the Tea Party convention, as a (non-Fox News) journalist, you’re out of luck. Oh, and as if that wasn't enough, Palin is also now a motivational speaker. There are no words.

Shockingly, Mark McGwire has admitted to 'roid rage, and we are just DUMBFOUNDED with- oh, hell, who are we kidding? (Hear that faint rush of wind? That was the last of his fans scooting out of the baseball stadium.)

Well, at first we didn't care much, but now we are STAUNCHLY Team Coco. Not only has he been cracking us up all week long -- Obama stepped in, Kenneth the Page was there, Deal or No Deal got involved and Queenie's t-shirt has been ordered -- but he put out a statement that really stood up to the man. Too bad he's probably still out of the slot.

Interweb Tomfoolery

Thank goodness for American Idol. Normally we wouldn't care about the new season at all, except for this wonderful viral hit that has been assaulting our Facebook feeds all week: Pants on the Ground by Larry Platt from Atlanta. Even more amazing: he's newly Internet-famous and has already been covered by Neil Young. Props, Larry!

We shamelessly love the Jersey Shore. Totally shamelessly. NOT ONLY is Queenie off to McFaddens to hang with the cast next week, but she's bringing her Jersey nickname with her: from now on, call her "Orange Juice." Also JS-related: the most brilliant spoof of the show that we've ever seen. Want to play trucks?

OMG, this is awesome. R.L. Stine is on Twitter. Go say hi!

This is a little dated (Halloween), but we just found it: the coolest Daddy/baby costume ever.

A real-world account of what it's like to work for a Washington pundit. Anna Wintour, eat your heart out!

Do you know what it means to be Rick Rolled? If not, click here to find out. HAH! The new version for 2010, kids, is to be Barack Rolled, so let there be merriment throughout the land.

Some fun political brawling is never a bad idea. Show this to everyone in your office and waste this afternoon the right way.

We'd make a bunch of jokes about size and whatnot, but it almost doesn't seem fair. Instead, check out the world's tallest and shortest men, together for the very first time!

Post-CES 2010 round-up: the awesome-est thingamajigs to come out of Vegas and into your greedy little paws.

Scorecard

Thanks for taking our survey! The TR will be evolving over coming weeks as Queenie makes room in her busy schedule for it (hah), but for now, talk to her all day, every day, OFFICIALLY on Twitter.

Our favorite answers from the survey? That you really do like us, that you want a real blog (more on that later), that you want more Hollywood gossip and you want more handy-dandy PR tips from a certified pro. Done and done! If you have more feedback, lay it on us -- we're always open to brilliant ideas!

You can kick off the weekend chillin' with P. Diddy for his release party at Park tonight, or, on Sunday, Little Miss Whiskey's is open late for some funk and soul. If you missed Restaurant Week (fie!) then you could consider crossing the bridge into Queenie's hood for Alexandria's version - Queenie recs O'Connell's Pub, Café Salsa and Bilbo Baggins for fine food and libations. Finally, grab your fam and hit up the MLK Weekend Festival in DC. Tons to do and an extra day to do it!

Hasta la next Friday,

Friday, January 8, 2010

The TR: Back for the New Year, and Ready to Rumble! Put on Your Serious Face

Well, well! Fancy seeing you here, workerbees hoping for a day off. We missed you over the holi-daze, and in the spirit of new things and resolutions and motivation and blah blah blah, we'd like to ask you to hop over and take a little survey for us on the future of the TR. Don't worry! Queenie wants to offer you the same good time she always has, but she also wants your feedback. What do you want more of? Less of? Different? The same? She's wanting to shake things up a bit, so let her know how you feel, stat!

Forecast

Welcome back, Congress! Now get to work! As part of the January To-Do List, Obama has re-submitted nominations that were rejected by Congress last year, probably just to stick it to 'em. Here's hoping it works.

See, Barry is stiffening his spine and upping the ante around town, since approval ratings have been steadily dropping. Expect chatter about his ability to lead (something new and exciting) since McCain is hitting up CNN on Sunday (and knocking heads or something), and more on his confrontation of the terror issue. Also expect talk on healthcare, since O will be in the huddle with Dems late next week.

Oh, and, thank God, the State of the Union WILL NOT interfere with the LOST premiere. All you fan-boys and -girls can relax, okay?

Ah, The Chairman. Steele always gives us something to laugh about, and we're sure the speculation this weekend will be over his job that he forgot he ran for and the super secret book he has coming out. Honest Injun on that. The quips just keep on coming, and it looks like the RNC's attempts at rosy spin on the recent DNC resignations were a tad spoilt by the real-ness of the Steele.

Will Jay Leno bump Conan out of the late night hot spot? ...We sort of can't believe we just wrote that, but we know some of you actually care. We're thinking: at NBC, Leno = God. Discuss.

Turn your head 90 degrees clockwise and check it out: Jersey Shore castmembers are coming to the DMV! Don't know what Jersey Shore is? Don't say we didn't warn you.

The Week That Was

Everyone made their jokes about Giuliani BEFORE his interview, but little did we know how ridiculous it truly would be. The fact-checkers have been out in force, and we can't imagine how his press team is getting on right about now. Although, in related news, they just arrested two would-be plotters in NY. You know, maybe we won't have to bother telling you about terror news anymore, since Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) is taking to the webz to do that for us. We're sure she'll be objective.

Hillary announced our renewed commitment to reproductive health and the needs of women and girls at the International Conference on Population and Development. No snark here, y'all -- GO, HILLARY, GO!

The jobs report is sour -- the economy lost 85,000 jobs in December '09. Not that the administration didn't have enough to deal with...

We really just included this for the headline: Did Tiger Woods Play With Another Man's Nine Iron? We're betting you're pretending like you don't want to know or didn't already hear about this, but, pfft. You totally do and you totally did.

Is it a crime to jog naked through the Capital? Yes. Is it an opportunity for shrinkage jokes and package puns? Double yes.

Speaking of, we're all freeeeezing. Somehow we think you knew that already!

Interweb Tomfoolery

Raise your hand if you're at CES right now! ...NERD.

We kid! We're total nerds too, but nerds who are much too busy to drop everything and go to Vegas for a tradeshow. Instead we read things like this: technologies that will rock 2010. And, since we're media nerds, 10 things journalists should know for the new year.

The Boy Scouts say to be prepared, and your pets should be too.

Not that Queenie likes to admit weaknesses, but here are the top 10 common faults in human knowledge. Def guilty of 10 and 4. You?

Ah, the Washington Post. We knew you were pro-Whopper all along.

Ahmadinejad's website was hacked this week and replaced with this text file. We miss Michael too!

Sometimes Queenie drops some Internet slang in her weekly discourse. If you've ever needed translation, this handy webified Bible story should offer you some clues.

Finally, here's your weekly cuteness: the future according to young'uns.

Scorecard

Please, please, please take the survey! Your new Queenie-boo is looking for some grand inspiration for the TR, but she wants to make sure the Royal Court is as happy about it as possible. 'Cuz she's nice that way.

Hangin' around town this weekend? If you didn't get your Restaurant Week reservations, there's still time, and some restos are extending the offers. Late-night spelling bees sound odd, but Queenie-the-English-Major bets she could rock this Spelling Buzz at the RR Hotel. Also, for the vintage shoppers/treasure huntin' pirates (arr!) in all of us, get out to VA for the Big Flea Market.

Until next week!