Friday, May 28, 2010

The TR: Failing PR 101, Putting Up Fences and Dodging GOP Twitterbombs

Do you have fantabulous plans for the three day weekend? We felt it important to give our readers something to do while they work on their excuses to leave early diligently through all of Friday. So, voila -- a snarky kick-start to your afternoon! It's healthier (and cheaper -- thanks, DC...) than Red Bull, right?

Forecast

Barry is under serious fire from all sides and is currently trying to show us that he's on top of that massive oil slick (quite literally, since he's in Louisiana today). But the question of how much the government can do versus what BP is already doing has been raised non-stop this week. (Guess who was on hand to explain the science, btw? Bill Nye!) The criticism is coming even from teammates: James C. is always the liveliest on subjects concerning his home state. WH officials are fighting hard (with less coverage nowadays) to make sure this disaster does not become a political nightmare, but it looks like BP's CEO is creating his own PR follies. And BP's got another headache in the form of its Trans-Alaska Pipeline -- does this mean Sarah is coming to the rescue?

Another potential PR fail lies in Sestak-gate -- the potentially shady business surrounding an alleged WH job offer that would have kept Sestak from running. Of course, the legality of all this is not what this media maven would call The Fail; it was the silence on the issue up 'til now that made Republican tongues wag and Democratic hair turn prematurely gray.

The White House came on board to a compromise that might finally lead to a repeal to the Pentagon's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The House and the Senate Armed Services Committee have both voted in favor of the repeal, but its implementation could be more than a year away. We're just happy to see this one moving!

Tensions are rising on the Korean peninsula after the North severed all ties with it's neighbor. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took a hard-line against North Korea, and, after an initially cool response, China is talking to South Korea about sanctions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be paying a visit to President Obama next Tuesday. The Israeli leader was personally invited by Rahm on a vacation to Israel. Are things warming up between the two nations?

Sarah has a new neighbor and the former governor isn’t happy about the intrusion. Journalist Joe McGinniss is moving into a home owned by a woman crossed by the Palins (that’s karma for ya!). And Greta showed off the totally awesome craftsmanship of their new "privacy" fence. As funny as this is... it's also totally creepy. We've said it before: leave her family be.

The Week That Was

Obama ordered 1,200 troops to our border with Mexico to beef up security (and placate some right-wingers). The President was also out west for a fundraiser, where he was heckled, yet again. He took a swipe at Senate Republicans for their lunchtime frankness.

This wasn't a great week for schools and educators in the southwest. Arizona is moving along to make sure those heavily-accented English teachers "improve" or be shown the door. Some folks down in Texas are giving a big thumbs up for a revised textbook curriculum that tones down criticism of things like the Red Scare and Senator Joe McCarthy's anti-communist witch hunt. Also, the United Nations is a very bad organization. And California, you're not off the hook, either.

FinReg? Meh.

Tired of Tickle Me Massa? Esquire isn't, and we just had to share their story with you. Sorry, Eric, but some things you say are WAY out there.

As if Rand Paul wasn't already nuts (Mitch says so), his spokesman has driven further into the depths of insanity. North Carolina Republicans are turning against one of their own. Tim D'Annunzio finished first in the primary, but they don't want him! He's, uh, crazy. Are the allegations against Nikki Haley a smear, or something really going on? Harry Reid might catch a breath in his tough re-election battle against a rising Tea Party star. Finally, a GOP candidate was caught plagiarizing Obama. This guy's been in the doghouse before, and Sarah's kiss of death did the poor man in. Somehow, that doesn't surprise us.

Charles Djou became the first Republican in the Hawaii congressional delegation in twenty years. A shout out to the two Democrats who split 58% of the total vote -- sharing is caring! (Pro tip: THAT WAS SARCASM.) Anyway, don't expect to see Charles cruising to victory in November.

Tea Partiers are fuming over Scotty's recent votes. His staff should expect some tea bags in the mail, stat.

Are You Not Entertained?

We edit, you decide.

You didn't go see SATC 2, did you? If you did, *sigh* fine. We hope you enjoyed every minute. If you didn't, check out these top 10 review slams of this non-anticipated sequel.

A loooong NYT profile of rapper/singer/mom M.I.A. is now being slammed by the artist herself in some angry Tweets and an angry posting of the journalist's cell phone number. Journalists will, of course, characterize this as whining, but, hey, there's always a silver lining. Free publicity for eeeveryone!

Be careful at the wax museum, y'all -- Ozzy Osbourne (not surprisingly) spent some time scaring people at Madame Tussauds in this hilarious video. Ozzy's lumbering his way into "Silly Old Grandpa... of Darkness" territory, isn't he?

Ah, another day, another Ponzi scheme by an "investor to the stars." Yawn.

This cop in Santa Monica, CA is tough. No excuses allowed for this live reporter.

The rapper 50 Cent put out very surprising photos of himself after dropping 60 pounds to play a college football player diagnosed with cancer. Never thought we'd say this, but we hope 50 is actually a good actor, because damn... how sad would it be if he didn't end with SOME kind of award?

Interweb Tomfoolery

Apple's got the money. Didn't we know that already, though? When you have the type of rabid fans who are willing and able to shell out $500 to $800 for a fun new toy, you're probably doing okay.

Dammit, Google! Some of us had work to do last week!

We HAD to put this in: check out this video of an 8-month-old deaf toddler when he begins to hear again. In other adorable baby video news, check it: Iron BABY!

The ultimate face-palm moment of the week: Fox News announcing launch of website targeting Latino viewers. How will they spin this? And here's an example of a failed press release.

We didn't believe it until we read it: Sorry chickens, you won't be welcome at the voting booth.

House Democrats unveiled their New Media Caucus. Kinda rough timing though -- the GOP has got y'all beat with their forum-based site that's sure to write their agenda for them. And... wait... oh no... did someone teach Michael Steele to Twitter-bomb?!

J.D. Hayworth can't get his history right -- McCain just might have a chance now.

The Pentagon's recipe for brownies. Don't read too much into it.

Out on the Town

Queenie will be kicking off the start of Jazz in the Garden this evening (if the weather holds out). And with any luck she'll be hitting up a pool party or two over the next couple of days -- Camp Camp, perhaps?

For the intellectually-inclined, A Prairie Home Companion is at Wolftrap tonight and Saturday. For the Adam Sandler-inclined, Happy Gilmore is showing over in Rosslyn tonight.

Whatever you do, it's a holiday weekend so you should celebrate appropriately. The National Memorial Day Concert will be held in front of the Capitol Sunday. Additional patriotism can be found at Wolftrap on Sunday with the USMC band. Finally, check out the photo opps at the Sunset Celebration at Mount Vernon.

Scorecard

There is almost too much to write about these days! We didn't even mention the volcanoes, the nuclear conference or Foxconn. But, noted news junkies as we are, we do our best to stay on top of the scene -- and we've been hearing all week from some devoted fans that we've been doing pretty good so far (shout outs to the Green Media Toolshed happy hour folks!). If you have tips or comments, don't be afraid to tell us!

Have a great holiday,

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