Friday, March 26, 2010

The TR: A Healthcare Bonanza, a Pizza Feud, and a Lawbreaking Monkey

Are you a Democrat? Have you had a big silly grin on your face all week? Has your gas line been cut? It MUST be Healthcare Bill is Finally F@%&ing Passed Week!


Over at the White House, Senator McCain continues to be a tempting target (go Robert!). We think fortunes are turning around for the Democrats, especially after Sunday's vote. November may not be the total bloodbath forecast that was made only weeks ago.

Despite the Dem joy, however, Republicans are gettin' fired up and ready to go for repeal. As Obama hits the road to celebrate and speak to the people, people like Mark Kirk (a Repub. candidate in Illionois) have promised to spearhead repeal efforts. We mention Mark because his opponent, Alexi Giannoulias, has an awesome New Media Director, who mocked up this fake Facebook page to motivate Kirk to follow through. Don't you love the Internet?

So what do we have to look forward to after this week? We're sort of hoping for less of the threats of violence that have been coming out of the woodwork. The state of political discourse right now is just straight up nasty, and frankly we'd like to see more people take the high road in the coming weeks. But who are we kidding?

Oh, and, by the way -- the rest of the world still exists! Obama struck a deal with Russia to a new START treaty, limiting nuclear arms by nearly a third. But we need Republican votes to pass this -- a whole eight of them. Will this be a new battle for the party of No?

Michelle Obama may have inadvertently reignited a fued between Chicago and NYC pizzarias. Waaay to go, First Lady. Always causin' drama.

The dudes who wrote Game Change have scored a deal to write about the 2012 election -- two years early! And what have you done today?

The Week That Was

Sunday was the day of victory for President Obama, Democrats, and millions of Americans, as health care reform legislation was passed in the wee hours of late Sunday/early Monday. That's right -- THAT'S why Nancy Pelosi is considered one of the most powerful and effective speakers in the history of Congress -- AND why the RNC felt it so necessary to create yet another outrageous fundraising appeal. Biden, our beloved First Grandpa, tells it like it is. The Senate passed the reconciliation bill and the House quickly followed suit. Take a look back at a year's worth of work from the White House.

It was a raucous few days: Tea partiers got down and dirty with our representatives; bricks were thrown; and an angry GOP'er couldn't keep his mouth shut on the floor. This is some scary stuff. Will the Republican establishment finally distance themselves from these people?

Party-pooper McCain already wants a do-over. Steve King of Iowa wants to un-insure millions. Mitt's not even in Congress, but has some choice words. Like he's not gunning for higher office. And finally, a little Facebook fun. Oh, the irony. Also, folks couldn't wait to give Rush a proper send-off.

REAL conservatives got their way, and David Frum is "no longer affiliated" with the American Enterprise Institute. Oopsie.
Almost) drowned out by everything health care-related, students clamoring for more financial aid on Capitol Hill and an immigration rally drew tens of thousands. No reason to fudge turnout numbers here.

Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were in Haiti this week. Apparently Dubya didn't want to catch the cooties. This reminds us of his appearance on Letterman.

Pipe it down, Ann. Yes, our neighbors to the north are full aware of Ms. Coulter's naughty words. Cancelled!

Are You Not Entertained?

Michelle Obama makes a surprise landing in Springfield to cheer up Lisa. Well, not really... Angela Bassett will suffice. (Speaking of, Alicia Keys luvs>!)

See Sarah run on the Discovery Channel. Wasilla, here we come!

OMGOMGOMG. Harry Potter theme park opening date is SET for June 18! Start planning now, folks -- your kids will not forgive you if you don't go. Oh, and please invite TUrner Central. Thanks!

Well, your dreams are coming true: it's time to drop everything, move to Los Angeles and work for Kirstie Alley. See? We support you!

Interweb Tomfoolery

Google's tangle with China may finally be coming to a conclusion. But Google's takeover of your entire Internet life? Still happening.

But on that note, people are using the Google to track a mystery monkey in near Tampa! Here's to Curious George escaping the law.

Weaponizing chili!

The Last Supper -- supersized.

This is one of Queenie's top grammar pet peeves -- and finally someone literally agrees with her!

A full 14% of America believes Obama is the Anti-Christ. We'd put this in The Week That Was but this CAN'T BE REAL.

Out on the Town

Hey DC'ers! Didja think your rent was high? Well... it is. (Pro tip from Queenie: Alexandria ain't much better!)

Check out Madam's Organ April 15th for some philanthropy and fun to benefit Community of Hope. And to distract yourself from Tax Day, which is no fun for any of us.

The cherry blossoms have returned and the festivities begin on Saturday. Go out and enjoy them! It looks like the weather will cooperate.


Enjoy the sense of accomplishment this week, guys -- we love passin' some bills but this ain't over yet.

Have a fabulous weekend,

Friday, March 19, 2010

The TR: Obama Interrupted, the Hunger of Google and the Final Healthcare Climax

What are you doing?! GO OUTSIDE! Take your Blackberry with you and read the TR out in the sun, because OMG, it's a freakin' beautiful day in the neighborhood.


Did you catch the White House's UStream feed of the speech today (at Queenie's alma mater, by the way)? Those shirtsleeves meant serious business, folks. Sunday is make it or break it time, since CBO released its (hopefully) final score of health care reform. It puts the price tag at $940 billion, extends coverage to another 32 million Americans, and will reduce the deficit by $130 billion over 10 years. As the clock winds down, the rhetoric is all over the place (although not a lot that we haven't heard before). Let's get this affront to God (or, if you prefer, War of Yankee Aggression?) over with! Obama will be meeting with House Dems on Saturday to get revved.

So how does the GOP feel about all this frenzy leading up to Decision Time? Um, not happy. REALLY not happy. SERIOUSLY. And at least some of them agree with this guy. The Sunday chatter will be nothing but HCR, and so will Twitter.

By the way, don't forget to tell the press when you're scrapping a trip to focus on the healthcare bill. Of course, Queenie knew about this LAST week. Suzanne Malveaux, do you need a TR subscription?

We're not sure what got into Maryland this week, but looks like they're switching alliances from South to East.

Have you filled out your Census form? The Tweets have been trickling in, but we can't help but wonder: it's 2010! Why can't you fill it out online?

The Week That Was

Dan Choi, the former Army soldier who is now an icon for DADT, was arrested this week after handcuffing himself to the White House fence. Not a new tactic, as the TR's Western Office principal pointed out, but effective... or was it?

Did you see the feisty Fox interview? Obama sat down with Brett Baier over at Fox News. Didn't anyone warn him about the beating Dubya received from a certain hard-hitting documentary? The president tried to bring some fair and balanced™ insight into that bastion of mainstream news. We think he gave Baier a whipping despite all the interruptions.

The Tea Partiers were out en masse (if that's what you'd describe a crowd of 330) Wednesday to protest Democrats' efforts to reduce their premiums and other shady health insurance practices. Maybe they're finally admitting that their fight is almost over. And birthers, Hawaii is sick of your silliness. Find something new to blather about! Especially you, Orly (ya, rly).

Ah, John Edwards sex scandal spectacular! It got some new coverage this week as the mistress finally gave an open interview. Also, there are sex tape details, and... yuck, never you mind. (Speaking of details, Larry Flynt will release a history of Presidential doin'-the-nasty in 2011.)

Bachmann and Palin: the Superstar Duo of the people, for the people. It'll cost you an arm and a leg to get a photo with both of them, but your healthcare plan will cover that, right?

Are You Not Entertained?

Why is Glenn Beck back on our radar screens? Intrepid Executioner Jon Soohoo pointed out to Queenie Jon Stewart's amazing imitation of the PunditMaster, which proved, once and for all, that Bert (you know, the Sesame Street cynic) is Hitler (you know... yes, you do).

Good goin', Viacom. And good luck, Viacom flacks!

Speaking of Google TV news, we present: Google TV. Yep, they're still slowly taking over -- more on that later.

Sarah Palin is closer than ever to being on TV regularly. Yyyeah... we'll skip that one, thanks.

Well, we got this one all kinds of backwards. Turns out Buzz Lightyear was the first man on the moon! Thanks, one in 10 British schoolchildren! Now, about those science lessons...

Interweb Tomfoolery

If this Skateboarding Owl doesn't make your day, well, we don't know WHAT will.

Ah, the Digital Divide -- something Queenie loves to remind people about when they talk about Twitter strategies. Not everyone has wi-fi!

Bored in the office with a lot of time on your hands? Make a masterpiece in Excel. It'll look GREAT on a resume -- trust us.

Several fun videos to while away the afternoon: the history of the world in 75 seconds and The Hungry Beast that is Google. Ooh, and, in case you need a lesson in Politician Gay-Dar, the March of the Anti-Gay in Washington. Feeling too busy? Learn how to be lazy the RIGHT way. And finally, do you have what it takes to not post a crappy clip on YouTube?

Hey Ryan Seacrest! Do you need a social media training? Queenie is available, and promises to wear flats.

Out on the Town

March Madness! We're sure you know by now that Queenie and the team are not so much sports fans, but the rest of you are, and we forgive you. Here, bring us out with you to some of these fun viewing spots and teach us why we should care.

Culture check: Arlington Artfest starts today!

The SunTrust National Marathon hits tomorrow, not to mention several rallies and protests (take advantage of this sunshine and tourist foot traffic, young non-profit types!), so Queenie will be hiding out across the bridge in her beloved Alexandria. She's thinking of you, though!


Again, so sorry for last week's mailing it in. We're sure you've been just as busy as we are, though -- and don't forget, if you have some cool events coming up or feel the need to brag, let us know! We love sharing the love amongst friends.

Until we meet again,

Friday, March 12, 2010


Unfortunately, Queenie is SWAMPED with client work and can't give you your usual buffet of snark and savvy this week. But we could all stand a diet or two, no? So here's the short, short, short version and we hope you have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day next week!

So what's up in the media world these days? Uh, how about the complete and utter awkwardness of Tickle Me Massa? How low can he go? Interns. Showers. He's got nothing nice to say to Rahm. And this trainwreck of an interview (that some are saying has made Glenn Beck a laughing-stock -- THAT'S what did it, you guys?!) just iced the cake for us. Add that to an unrelated recent naked hot-tubbing story and Senator Roy Ashburn's coming out saga and looks like we've got a scandal-tastic media cycle on our hands, folks!

Rush Limbaugh could scoot on out of the country if we pass healthcare reform, so OMG, YOU GUYS, PASS THE BILL. Costa Rica's not really know for its private health insurance industry, though.

Speaking of Latin America, Michelle is headed to Mexico to hang with the First Lady there and talk shop. Could this have to do with the recent chatter on healthcare reform and immigration or is that just us?

Feels like we've been talking about healthcare reform for our entire lives doesn't it? This week isn't much different than the last, except that apparently the public option is out, despite Dick Durbin's plan to whip it in there good. But wait! Is that a light at the end of the tunnel?! Obama's postponing his Asia trip, which could only mean one thing... we hope!

Betty White is IN. SNL, you'd better do her justice!

Heidi Montag was in a Ron Howard-directed video advocating for the creation of a consumer protection agency and poking fun at herself. It made us laugh, but ack, look at that face!

Finally, are you a journalist who Tweets? Work for Reuters? Better you don't scoop the wire and break something online before it goes to press, even though this HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. So is this revealing that social media is a threat to traditional journalism, or is it simply paranoia on the part of Reuters? And will they get left behind the rest of the pack as they attempt to hold on to control?

Chew on that! Now Queenie's back on the grind (and wishing her dear old father a very happy birthday today. Hi Dad!).

Until the next time,

Friday, March 5, 2010

The TR: Check Your Sources, Resign Before They Find Out the Truth and Listen to Your Presidents

Is that a taste of spring in the air? Or is Queenie just dreaming? Maybe one day her wishes will come true, because winter totally blows. Read on for the scandal, the reality, the silliness and the snark -- it's TR time, baby!


Final push from Obama on health care reform. Can it be finished in two weeks? Harkin (and Pelosi, of course) say Democrats are moving forward, no matter what, and Stupak is still getting the attention he was looking for. Unfortunately, it's the kind of attention that can leave reproductive rights even more vulnerable.

A copy of an RNC finance strategy memo was allegedly picked up by someone on opposing team down in Florida. We wrote in the past of the RNC's spending habits, but here's hoping this presentation causes their contributors, or investors, as they call them, to close their wallets. Page 31 is clearly an olive branch to the teabagger fringe (we couldn’t resist). Don’t expect Dems to let this one die quickly.

Justice John Roberts will be retiring from the Supreme Court due to-- NOOO! Curse you, Georgetown Professor who started this rumor just to prove that news outlet don't verify what they report! YOU GOT US!

Senator Lieberman (who would have thought!) introduced a bill to repeal the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Republicans are discrediting a Pentagon study about it as biased because it assumes Congress will soon repeal the policy. So we guess this wouldn’t be news to the Democrats, right?

Will John Edwards be indicted? Dammit, we hope so. SOMETHING needs to happen to this guy already.

Queenie just happens to ride the Blue Line back to her home sweet home, so when the shooting at the Pentagon happened last night her entire family started texting her in a panic. Luckily the two officers targeted were only superficially injured, but information about the shooter is leaking all over the place. In a social media twist, he had a blog and (only look if you want to be a little creeped out) YouTube videos. This is still the talk of the city at the moment, so expect to hear a bit more this weekend.

The Week That Was

Well, this has just been a terrible week for New York Dems. Another guv is in real trouble: the stench has been airing for months now about the doings of New York governor David Paterson. Paterson won’t be running again, much to the relief of New Yorkers. On the plus side, Tennessean -- we mean, New Yorker -- Harold Ford decided not to challenge Gillibrand. Maybe it had to do something with his pedicures? Finally, Charles Rangel gave up (temporarily) his coveted chairmanship of Ways and Means Wednesday. Had something to do with trips to the Caribbean. We were about to leave it at that, when Eric Massa dropped a bombshell and told us he’s leaving after serving only one term because of sexual harassment allega-- we mean, CANCER.

Jobs bill! Woohoo! Great to know SOMETHING gets passed every once in a while.

Never a dull day on the Hill -- and what day it must have been for the aide in this elevator. Keep it classy, Senator Bunning. Just remember the good ol' days. (By the way, sometimes, you have to wonder why CNN tries so hard to get no comment.) His "behavior" may put his fellow GOP’ers in a jam, and has ticked off thousands of furloughed workers across the country. But that hasn’t prevented them from winning the gold! Watch Jon Stewart’s take on the Bunning effect.

Another family values Republican is caught speeding drunk, on the taxpayers’ dime, after leaving a gay nightclub. The jokes write themselves! Why can’t we have these politicians duke it out on a legitimate platform?

Not even two months have passed since the disastrous quake in Haiti. Chileans are now facing their worst natural disaster in decades after an 8.8 magnitude earthquake shook their country late last Saturday and brought with it an unprecedented amount of chaos. But please, if you’re in the midst of a life or death situation, don’t make a fool out of yourself for 15 minutes of fame.

Are You Not Entertained?

This week reality TV flooded your homes in a torrent of beer-breath and desperation. We had a bachelor find his co-pilot in life, and, OMG, Queenie's feminism hurts: there's going to be a Bachelor video game for the Wii. We'd make jokes about using your controller and whatnot, but really... you can take it from here.

AND the new cast of Dancing with the Stars was announced, which included everyone from a former Baywatch babe to an astronaut to Kate Gosselin and the animal-like thing that lives on her head. We are REALLY rooting for Buzz Aldrin, y'all!

Brad and Angelina may be constant tabloid targets, but calling their 3-year-old little girl a lesbian goes WAY TOO FAR.

Speaking of people whose 15 seconds of fame should expire any day now, Sarah Palin made an appearance on Jay Leno. And that ties beautifully in with Queenie's Jersey Shore addiction, because, let's face it -- Sarah Palin IS Snookie. By the way, the Jersey Shore Oscars spoofs made our week! Beat the beat!

Interweb Tomfoolery

So, thanks to the Presidential Records Act, every Tweet directed to the White House and Press Secretary could be archived. As you can guess, this doesn't reflect well on the general populace.

Speaking of Presidents... Only could Opie himself could bring together all of the SNL comedic greats to help Obama navigate his way through the financial crisis of 2010. Even better, we get to see the return of W. and Bill Clinton's libido. (PS: Hooray for Jim Carrey!) Ghosts of Presidential pasts never seemed so alive!

Sure, Google Earth is fun and all, (and, yes, a little invasive), but recreating Biblical images as would have been seen from Google Earth? That seems like a bit of a stretch, no? But the pictures are purty and still worth a look.

Speaking of Google... really, Topeka? Really?

Dear Flacks: here is what most of the world thinks of "embargoes." Just FYI.

Have you been playing with ChatRoulette? Y'all, Queenie remembers "chat room scandals" and chatting on AOL Instant Messenger back in middle school (wow... flashbacks!) but this is a whole new ballgame. And journalists are LOVING it.

There’s a new iPhone app for you cheating Tiger fans! How dare you cover your tracks. Too bad this solution didn’t come soon enough for the fallen golfer.

Out on the Town

Everyone's excited that the snow melted, so this weekend looks a little nuts (and now that the NY Times finally thinks we're cool to party with, we're sure it'll be extra fun!). First off, do you like art? How about martinis? We got you covered! March 27th at the Corcoran you can do all your favorite things and more. And we're all about making dreams come true today, so if you've ever wanted to be in a music video this is your chance.

While we're encouraging you to be cultured, scope this poetry event supporting DC youth competing for the Poetry Out Loud finals and hosted by one of our favorite local rappers, Tabi Bonney. Queenie's inner English major CANNOT resist.

We're also starting St. Patrick's Day early, so if you like beer and/or whiskey (Jameson, natch), check out the Leprechaun Lap on Saturday. For the kiddies, you can head into Alexandria for the parade on King Street.

If you care about the Academy Awards, that's cool. Find other people who do around D.C. but don't expect Queenie to be there. She'll be checking out Alice in Wonderland on IMAX 3D!


A direct quote from a friend and TR fan: "I don't particularly care about politics any more because the entire "scene" just generally depresses me these days, but I just thought I'd let you know that I read these religiously and I'm probably better-informed than 70% of the country from it alone." Well... gosh! We love you too!

Until next week and as always,