Friday, May 7, 2010

The TR: Stock Market Panic, Arizona Boycotts and Saving Greece

Nerves are wearing pretty thin, aren't they? Everyone's on the edges of their seats tracking oil slicks, election polls, financial reform legislation, Arizona boycotts, Supreme Court picks... So you'd think it'd be understandable to make a typo or two now and then, right?

(Ah! Did you hear that? The sweet sound of someone getting FIRED.)

Watch those fingers carefully, kids. And read on for some stress relief from the snarkosphere!


Greece has been suffering riots this week as the government enforces "austerity measures" to contain the damage. (We have to put this in, btw, even if we suspect Photoshopping: meet Kanellos, the Greek Riot Dog!) Germany has stepped in to save Greece from bankruptcy, but the contagion effect is already in full force -- fears and doubts have caused global markets to fall today, and continue to encourage right-wing fearmongers to yell about U.S. tax dollars going to this bailout. Spoiler alert: Not so much.

Back home, we're a smidge more concerned with an oily mess that keeps getting bigger. The containment dome is on the move, but no one knows for sure if it will work. The most fragile victims of "Obama's Katrina" are now washing ashore. Could hair save the gulf coast? BP's CEO said his company stopped circulating settlement agreements with a maximum value of $5k to coastal residents. Talk about a PR fail. Brownie from Katrina made a fool out of himself on Cavuto (and watch Gibbs' snarky retort to Fox News). Congress will definitely be holding hearings to get to the bottom of this disaster -- if not to score some political points (omg, climate bill!).

Over the weekend there was a bomb scare in Times Square. Cheers to the street vendor who alerted cops! Authorities arrested Faisal Shahzad just as his flight to Dubai was about to take off. The conversation is moving on, however, to the NRA's support for terrorists buying guns and if Obama's administration "lucked out" when this plot was thwarted. What with all this great press the Justice Department and Holder are getting, we are not surprised that he's trying to ride the wave into a guest spot on Entourage. Oh, why not? Eric, we'll give you one tiny little cameo and then it's straight back to work.

Financial regulatory reform is moving a bit faster than a snail's pace. First, we can't let some Dems off the hook for protecting the biggest of the biggest, to end "Too Big To Fail." Obama pressed lawmakers to keep stronger protections for consumers and wasn't afraid to go after the watered-down GOP proposal. Democrats led by Bernie Sanders struck a deal yesterday to limit a one-time audit of the Fed's lending activities, and protected the creation of a new consumer protection agency. A vote will likely come next week. Dry stuff!

Obama will be announcing his Supreme Court pick Monday, and all odds are on Kagan.

In case you missed it: The merger between United and Continental will go forward, pending a go ahead from DOJ, creating the world's largest airline. It's not all good news.

Got plans for next September 11?

The Week That Was

The Dow took its biggest roller coaster ride so far yesterday. Websites were shutting down left and right, and the media erupted in manic babbling (send a thank you to Jim Cramer, by the by). Many have been blaming the dip on the mystical "fat fingered trader," but really, it's a perfect storm of fear. Between anxiety over European financial collapse, anxiety over the future of bank regulation and anxiety over which button on the keyboard to push, the metaphorical dam had to burst. Get your t-shirts now.

The Arizona boycotts are rollin', as more stood up this week against these racist laws. Latino support for McCain has dried up. Arizona is pulling for bipartisan consensus (goooood luck) to repair some of the damage, but, as we've been saying all along, the issue will not go away until it is properly addressed. If you're not white and headed to Arizona, the A.C.L.U. knows how to help.

The end of spring also marks the beginning of primary season. Voters went to the polls in Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio. The Tea Party-endorsed candidates didn't fare well. What ever happened to voting incumbents out or taking back the country? Let's be real about who they really are. Speaking of candidates, Sarah's under fire after her endorsement of Fiorina -- her normally "safe" Facebook page has been taken over by unhappy fans, and speculation about her defiance of the Tea Partiers is raging. You guys, Sarah doesn't care. She's gonna do whatever the hell she wants, just because she can.

Rep. David Obey, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, stunned us all by announcing his retirement. Read his entire statement (for all its Dubya-bashing commentary) here. But seriously, Wisconsin, do you really want to send a reality star to Washington? ...Well, we've seen worse, we guess.

South Carolina's attorney general cleared Governor Mike Sanford of criminal conduct related to his trips to see his lover in Argentina and alleged misuse of state aircraft. Ain't it nice to have a buddy who just happens to be attorney general? In related news, disgraced former congressman James Traficant has filed papers to run in Ohio. Has Elvis returned?

Boston was running a little drier this past week thanks to a break in a major water pipeline. Water is now safe to drink again. Starbucks lovers rejoice! The Southeast received too much water, as flooding took more than two dozen lives. Of course, none of you knew about that at all, as apparently the media completely ignored Nashville. You tell 'em, Newsweek! Before WaPo sells you!

Are You Not Entertained?

In case you missed Obama killin' it at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, you can watch it here. Meanwhile, Justin Beiber managed a wave at the POTUS, though he may require a little more educatin'.

Miley Cyrus is scanda- you know what, no. Stop being surprised at this "becoming the next Britney" thing. It's inevitable!

Want to know what Glenn Beck's show would be like if he made sense?

Another day, another gay sex scandal. And another rape scandal. Yawn.

Poor Bristol. Honey, let your mom be the media spectacle, okay? You're much better off staying under the radar.

Interweb Tomfoolery

Queenie is noticing more and more of her friends leaving Facebook lately, in no small part due to the privacy glitch that occurred on Wednesday. But it's not the end of the service, kiddos -- don't forget that this is a corporation that is invested in your information. They don't HAVE to listen to you. (PS: They're trying to distract you with some shiny new services now. Be strong!)

Michelle Obama's first tweet! Well, kind of.

This Florida state senator needed a little distraction while on the job. Thanks for reminding us that you stand up for family values! Colbert takes a look at another hypocrite exposed.

This is freaking ridiculous -- Ellen, did Apple really make you apologize for making a parody iPhone commercial? And you actually CAVED? Comedians make jokes, people laugh, the end. And heads up, Apple -- it IS hard to text on an iPhone! So there!

Hey, Apple fan-kids. We're sorry we just made you feel bad about Ellen. We'll make it up to you: find your Apple love match today, and commiserate about it with someone other than that gadget in your hand, okay?

Out on the Town

A slightly slower weekend! We needed the break.

If you MUST find a party, the Capitol Skyline Hotel is having their first pool party of the season on Saturday, starting at noon. And the European Union, while simultaneously watching the stock market, will be holding an open house Saturday as part of Passport DC. Finally, the Smithsonian is celebrating Space Day -- take the kiddies to meet an astronaut, talk to astronauts living on the International Space Station and build their own rockets.

Queenie's plan, of course, is to go see Iron Man 2. Duh!

Shameless Self-Promotion

Here's an interesting piece by a former Turner team member about how social media is INCREDIBLY effective at organizing grassroots demonstrations. Take a lesson!


Queenie's taking a hard-won vacation next week, so she'll be checking in from afar. In the meantime, Royal Executioner Jon Soohoo will be taking the reins, so lend him a hand and send him some tips!

See you in two weeks!

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