Friday, July 30, 2010

7.30.10: Executing the Double Down, Tweeting with Kanye and Fleeing Charlie Rangel

Queenie was composing some pithy comments about thunderstorms for this intro, until Jon, the Royal Executioner himself, came back from lunch -- with this.

The gloriously triumphant smell of fried chicken has permeated Turner Central. What is it, you ask? Oh, nothing much -- just the fabled KFC Double Down! Yes, months behind in the game, one Double Down meet its salty, greasy, unfortunate demise at the hands of the Executioner himself. Fitting, no?

A little hint from Jon, KFC: if you want more clients, y'all should come downtown -- 1.3 miles both ways is a long trek. Now, that's true American cuisine!

Read on for the snark, folks, and Queenie will be right back after making sure Jon's still breathing.

Forecast

Say it ain't so! House Repubs say that, yes, they'll have an agenda if they regain control. Gosh, a WHOLE AGENDA? Don't work too hard, now! But at present, folks, they're just scrambling to not piss off the unemployed too badly and settling for a whole lotta No.

One instance of this REALLY pissed off Anthony Weiner, who went freakin' nuts on the House floor yesterday about the Public Health Services Act. And we loved it! Watch it, re-watch it, put it on your flippin' Facebook and send it to your mom. While yelling may not accomplish much, we think there's a lesson here: 1. he's right, 2. he's willing to fight for it and 3. taking this viral means people hear the message. (Here's a backgrounder on the bill and what happened yesterday, by the way.)

Democrats are looking to get out in front, ahead of the August recess and the November elections. Their strategy involves packaging tea bags and the GOP (puh-LEEZ be careful with that strategy, guys). They have a new contract and video out. Also, Nancy vented her frustration with the White House and Obama for moving TOO slowly. Next on the Frustrating Congressional Battle Calendar? Tax cuts. WTF?

Rick Santorum is looking ahead for 2012. But so is Newt, who has received a hearty endorsement from... Howard Dean! We also have a Son of Bush who (shockingly) also knows when to say No.

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton struck down the most controversial elements of the new immigration law that went into effect Thursday. Protesters, beware. Governor Jan Brewer's team is expected to appeal the decision. Onwards to SCOTUS! Lindsey is thinking about introducing an amendment that would rescind birthright citizenship.

Another slippery week for BP. Tony Hayward was kindly asked to step aside AND receive a supersweet severance package and pension -- at the same time. Screw it; Tony's bound for Russia. He'll be replaced by a REEL 'Murican in October. Remember that $20 billion fund the company agreed to set up for claims? Well, it hasn't even been filled. In similar news, a leaking oil pipeline has Michigan on edge and Louisiana has yet another, smaller oil spill. When will the madness end? It's looking like not until 2028.

The Week That Was

WikiLeaks has become a household name here in the DC area. The White House has condemned the release of more than 75,000 new documents suggesting the Afghanistan war is floundering beyond belief. The doc dump occurs as Democrats debate the war spending bill. Er, not the best timing. But since none of the information was particularly new or revelatory, the docs themselves are getting downplayed in the face of press about this WikiLeaks thing.

We're getting close to another round of primaries come August. What better time to pander to perspective voters? TN Rep. Zach Wamp echoed Rick Perry with secession talk, and then, surprisingly, backtracked. Sarah's magic hasn't gone over well with New Hampshire voters, but that also might be the result of her going after the lamestream media (again). Alvin Greene, candidate and soon-to-be film star, made it on CREW's most crooked candidate list. You guys, he just wants people to make toys. Is that so bad? Looks like Sharron might need a crash course in fiscal responsibility. Finally, Michele Bachmann has a Teabagger revolt on her hands. Those folks sure aren't happy about her endorsement of an insider.

Charlie Rangel is in hot water after a drawn-out investigation of improprieties. The New York congressman had already been stripped of his Ways & Means chairmanship. He's accusedof allegedly using that position to protect a donor to a graduate program in his name, failing to pay taxes on a house, and failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars of income. Dems are just praying for this one to go away.

Ken Buck says Teabaggin' birthers, and their expertise on birth certificates, are just a bunch of dumb***es. Remember, peeps, he's the same guy who made headlines last week for hatin' on the ladies. In other news, a group of confused and easily agitated Minutemen were preparing to go all out to turn back an invasion. This is super serious!

Senate Republicans blocked campaign finance reform. Apparently, we're curbing free speech by... disclosing ad-backers? And we know the health insurance industry is ALWAYS on our side.

Are You Not Entertained?

Barry is always making history. Thursday he was on The View, and tried to convince us that he doesn't know who Snooki is. Sure you don't, B. Suuure.

Have you been keeping up with Top Chef this season? It's been a little boring, we have to admit -- no real leaders and not a lot of drama. That is, until last night. WHO STOLE THE PEA PUREE?! In other news, DC is about to get even more real: The Real Housewives of DC starts a week from Thursday. Don't miss the Salahis!

Kanye West is on an impressive press push through Silcon (NOT Silicone!) Valley. He performed some new songs, yeah, yeah , but MORE IMPORTANTLY: he debuted his Twitter account. This is so real.

Oh NOES! Ellen is leaving American Idol. Not enough dance offs? But turns out there are already replacements in line: Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are set to take the mics and keep this over-extended, tired franchise puttering along a little bit more.

We barely even want to mention this (sigh): Sarah and Kate are going camping. In other Palin-land news, Levi scored a music video appearance to further extend his fifteen minutes of fame. The video involves a mother who interferes a lil' too much. Subtle.

This was making the rounds yesterday: Steve Carell and Zach Galifianakis, two comedians known for roles like Michael Scott of The Office and Zach Galifianakis of You-Really-Should-Have-Heard-of-Him-by-Now, are co-starring in a new movie soon. They made a funny video together (watch this first for context!).

New Jersey's governor is not fond of Jersey Shore, and rubs it in the face of New Yorkers, at the same time. Snooki says he's wrong -- it's all about having a good time! And she's SO RIGHT! Did you catch the premiere? Apparently all of Twitter did, logging 16,000 Tweets per hour at the peak last night.

Fox News' Carl Cameron finally admits (albeit "off-the-record") that the Teabaggers have friends in high places.

Interweb Tomfoolery

It's official, y'all: endorse Basil Marceaux.com for Guv! This week also brought out Ron Ramsey, who, clearly, is tolerant of many other views. Can y'all do better, Tennessee? Down in Oklahoma, one judicial candidate is in a bitter feud with family members. In the digital age, you can count on being caught doing the dirty work. The Republican Governors Association launched their feisty attack ad this week.

Check out this new political time-waster. Queenie is really, truly addicted -- she spent a little while "researching" but nearly got her butt kicked by Karl Rove. NEARLY.

Ohh, social media dorks: this just might be too much. In related news, YouTube is allowing 15 minute videos instead of 10. Um... yay? Finally, Google Earth now allows you to see real-time weather, which is sooo coooool.

The U.S. Copyright Office says you can go right ahead and jailbreak your iPhones. Is there anyone out there with an iPhone that's NOT jailbroken? No?

Oh, would you look at that. 14-year-old Laura received court approval to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe. Thanks, Dad.

Wow, nerds, calm down. There was an arrest at last weekend's Comic-Con over a pen stabbing. But we were most entertained at the hilarious counter-protest against the crazies from Westboro Baptist Church. BTW, they also have a thing for Biebs and GaGa.

Out on the Town

Shark Week! There's a free screening of "Ultimate Air Jaws" in Maryland tonight, and we're sure you're dying to figure out what that actually means. (PS: After Googling for pictures of flying sharks to illustrate this event, Queenie is now officially afraid of them and won't be joining you for this screening. But have fun, kids!)

If you're not feeling so relaxed (the notion of flying great whites can do that to a dude), shake off that energy when the U.S. Department of Bhangra debuts at the Black Cat tonight, bringing back the monthly Indian dance party for only $5. Saturday, hit up the Mall for National Dance Day and let the kiddies join Congresswoman Norton's flash mob. Yes, you heard that correctly.

Eatonville is hosting a benefit Saturday for the gulf. Celebrate your do-gooder vibes at the BYT Summer Camp pool party and get that karaoke on.

Finally, the Legg Mason Tennis Classic kicks off this weekend. They're livestreaming it, but why not just head over there?

Scorecard

HE SURVIVED! Jon's verdict on the most epic of chicken sandwiches? "Not very good."

Huh. We were expecting something a little more dramatic. Have you tried the Double Down? What did you think?

Don't forget to sign up for Turner's MediaMorphosis discussion, coming up next week! Learn how to bring your organization into the digital age from three major non-profits who have done just that. Queenie will be there, so don't forget to say hi!

Until next week,

Friday, July 23, 2010

The TR: Liberal Journos Are Liberal, Lindsay is Locked Up and Palin's English Makes Us LOL

We always think we talk about the weather too much, but then these crazy heat indexes start popping up again! 108 tomorrow? Yuuuck. If you HAVE to trek outside today, make sure it's only for a good reason -- like catching a food truck. Or finding a coffee shop so you can catch up with Queenie in peace!

Get ready, y'all, this one's a doozy...

Forecast

FinReg was signed into law Wednesday, and some environmental groups had hoped for climate legislation to be next in line. It doesn't look like it's going to happen this session. Any other most-likely-to-fail legislation in the works? CA congresswoman Lynn Woolsey plans to introduce a bill with a robust public option, which has has 121 co-sponsors. At least she followed through on her promise. As for any other major legislative overhauls, it looks like a no, unless this lame-duck Congress thing has legs (pun intended!).

West VA Governor Joe Manchin said he'll run for the Senate seat formerly held by Robert Byrd. Seat-warmer Carte Goodwin will serve until a replacement is elected. Who says a nonagenarian can't run? In other election news, Alvin Greene is still around. Check out his amazing rapping campaign video!

Conservative pundits are FUMING over TOP SECRET BREAKING NEWS released by the Daily Caller, showing that the liberal media machine is controlling the world, or something. Turns out, the DC was also a member of Journolist. You tell them, Ezra, and hold on, everyone, let Sarah get her two cents in. Pop quiz: Can you guess which fair and balanced "news" channel picked this story up immediately? Liberals, Tucker Carlson has already addressed your arguments, but Ezra is still stepping in and we're 100% behind him as this story continues to limp along. (Side note: what with all this conversation about journalism lately, this piece on "How to Tell a Journalist from a Blogger" is worth a read.)

International update! Hillary was in Afghanistan this week for an international conference on that country's future. The conference endorsed President Karzai's plan for Afghan forces to take over security in 2014. Meanwhile, Joe says we'll start pulling troops out next July, but it may be a slow withdrawal. Clinton also traveled to South Korea with Secretary Gates to announce new sanctions against the North. There was a curious North Korean soldier at one of their briefings.

Lawyers from the Justice Department were in Phoenix to present their arguments against Arizona's immigration law. Back in DC, the Senate rejected an amendment to the jobless benefits bill that would prohibit federal funds from being used in any lawsuit seeking to overturn the AZ law. We wish the media coverage would focus more on brave, young activists like these seeking to pass the Dream Act.

The Kagan snoozefest continued this week. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-6 in favor of the nominee. As we predicted, Lindsey voted in support. Lugar also said he's a yes. A full Senate should come before the August recess.

The Week That Was

A double take at the USDA: Shirley Sherrod was forced out of her job after a heavily-edited video of her allegedly gloating that she wasn't helping out a white farmer because of his race. Well... it turns out it wasn't that simple. The NAACP claims it was "snookered" by FOX News and Andrew Breitbart, and the White House is now calling for a review of the situation. Ugh... fact check, fact check, fact check. How many times can we say this?

BP had some good news over the weekend -- aaand then oil began to trickle again. A relief well is close to being completed. But the other story was about a real Joe the Plumber who came to the rescue. FINALLY we're not talking about the guy whose 15 minutes were up nearly two years ago! Also, BP has been doin' the dirty by trying to buy off scientists from universities, while stories come out about serious safety lapses before the spill. Seriously, what are they thinking? And the photoshopping, please! China is also trying to contain a large spill of its own.

Britain's new PM was in Washington meeting with Obama and congressional leaders, who are infuriated with BP's involvement with the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

Kudos (this time) to Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe for siding with the Dems to overcome GOP opposition to extending unemployment benefits. While the package ain't much, this whole process just demonstrated (as one blogger wrote) that it's easy to argue over this from your air-conditioned office. Empathy for the jobless, however, is a little more difficult.

Chaos at the RNC. Michael Steele is being accused of stuffing his shoe box with millions of dollars of debt. What did we tell you about keeping him out of the spotlight?! Also, a Colorado senate candidate plays the gender card. Real stupid. Sharron recently did a press conference and a Q & A session... without the answer part. Finally, if you thought David Vitter belonged on Springer, have a look at his primary opponent.

Michele Bachmann one-upped Rand Paul by formally forming a Teabaggin', Tea Party caucus in the House. Time to put that fine china to some use! GOPers can't decide if they should join. Meanwhile, we hear the Tea Party kicked out one of their own over a blog spat. This is entertainment at its best. Up in Alaska, Tea Partiers are scaring the shit out of everyone with their parades, and the all the hoopla over racist Tea Partiers has led to a summit to address the issue. Who would've thought!

The somewhat hilarious headline confused us for a second, but now we understand. The author says Joe believes voters are rationally ignorant. What would the gnomes say? But that's not all -- apparently some Washingtonians (none of us at Turner Central, of course) are a shmidge out of touch with the rest of y'all.

Are You Not Entertained?!

Lindsay's in jail! There was a media firestorm as we watched the trainwreck get booked last week. Normally we don't sink so low as to gossip -- ok, actually, we do -- but the best parts of this so far have been: the postcards sent to her jail cell; the rabid fans trying to get her on the phone; the fact that she's making bank off of this; and, how she's located near a cell holding the girl that burgled Lindsay's home. Too bad she won't be in very long... this is comedy gold!

Glenn Beck says he could go blind within the year. Karma, anyone? Before that happens, a "special" someone scrounged up $90k to have dinner with the Fox News personality.

Oh, no! The super-talented cast of Jersey Shore could be on the picket line if they don't get their way. Does it have to do with turtlenecks?

It appears that Barney Frank, who appeared on Kathy Griffin's show, is no longer is a fan.

Interweb Tomfoolery

Nerds are out in force on the West Coast right now, rocking Comic-Con and Netroots Nation. We can't decide where we'd rather be: in a city that provides Klingon translations of street signs, or in Las Vegas... with a bunch of tech nerds. Party time? (Just kidding -- and hi to all our friends showing off out there. Watch out for the RightOnline!)

The anger keeps rising with users of the new iPhone after Apple's half-assed attempt to kiss and make-up. Whoopi took things into her own hands, while this dumb iPhone thief couldn't get away.

Facebook hit a record 500 million users, but managed to piss off many of them along the way.

So that's what that large building is for. WaPo has outdone itself this past week with Top Secret America. They did a spectacular job combining print, video, and the web in one package, AND instigating the administration's response.

Has Shakespeare risen from the dead? No, it's just Sarah. EVERYONE is having a laugh at her new found expertise in vocabulary. She stirred up more Twitter chatter earlier this week.

Teabaggers fooled again!

It costs a lot of green to keep Congress running.

Out on the Town

It's a party freakin' weekend, you guys! For some reason, these arbitrary few days just happen to be very celebratory. Go to Baltimore and dance your butt off, or (if you managed to score tickets) dance your way through Hirshhorn After Hours with drag queens. The end of the Fringe Festival will feature fire dancers and vagabonds, and the hipsters will be celebrating Summer New Year's Eve at Rock and Roll Hotel. Finally, get your mouses ready: free tickets for the FreeFest go on sale tomorrow morning. Grab Queenie a ticket too!

Foodies, are you all set for Restaurant Week? You can also dine for a cause at Hudson. And if the food might be getting too friendly with your waistline, sign up for "Tone, Taste and Tan" at the Liaison Hotel. Vinyasa yoga, brunch and a rooftop pool... sounds like Queenie's kind of party!

If you're less party/booze inclined, this sounds fun: a Sunset Serenade at the National Zoo. Music and tigers, anyone?

Scorecard

Phew! If you made it all the way through that, you are truly a Turner Report Super Fan. T-shirts and glittery tank tops (for the ladieees) coming soon!

See you next Friday,

Friday, July 16, 2010

The TR: Ignore the Polls, Block the Flow and Don't Blame Us -- Use Some Duct Tape

The slightly cooler weather wasn't of much help to the poor folks at Dupont Circle on Monday and Tuesday. We're not melting this week, but, if you thought last week was terrible, have a look at this. We're doomed! Haha, at least we aren't having any earthquakes, ri- oh.

Chins up, dearies. Recycle some stuff, take some public transportation and hold tight for some snark!

Forecast

Barry is taking a hit in the polls and Robert Gibbs conceded that Repubs may take the House in November. We sure hope not. Note these reasons and a new push to stay optimistic, you progressives! Obama hopes Americans don't have selective memory (although we're not so sure about that one). No doubt Republican candidates will be helped out by Sarah, whose PAC is raking in the dough (check out the 2012 standings so far, and then wonder why we're looking this far ahead -- and why John Boehner is jealous). There's also a new Palin bio coming out, targeted at them 9 to 12-year old intellectual giants (gotta get 'em while they're young, right?). Meanwhile, the DNC is looking to curb the influence of superdelegates and shift the primary calendar around for 2012.

Really, Michelle?

We're watching the campaigns closely these days. Sharron Angle is quite a catch, no? The mayor of Sparks, who just happens to be Republican, endorsed Reid, and Ms. Angle received the backing of a GOP icon, after being told to stop scaring the bejesus out of everyone. Zinger from beyond the grave: Did you know that obituaries can be used as a rallying cry? Ouch. Louisiana's David "Diaper" Vitter spent time at a town hall cheering on the birthers, but he claims he's not one of them. (Couldn't make that canceled rally, though). And by the way, how angry is our favorite maverick John McCain these days? Very angry. (Don't even get him started on immigration, y'all.)

Next week the Senate is expected to vote on extending jobless benefits to the unemployed -- after Senator Byrd's successor is sworn in.

Elana Kagan's confirmation is moving along, and by that we mean Republicans are looking to do everything in their power to derail her. Lindsey might be the only GOP'er to support her in the end.

Is BP finally going to catch a breather in the coming days? BP says the newly installed cap has stopped the gushing. We're gonna wait a bit longer to see how things go, just like Obama (who is urging caution before celebration). In the meantime, Tony Hayward is being immortalized as the "BP CEO Inaction Figure." Also, did BP have a hand in the release of the Lockerbie bomber?

The Week That Was

The Senate passed FinReg on Thursday! It's headed to Obama's desk next week. Obama's successful "legislative hat trick" is (ironically) not endearing him to the public, however. Heads up, kids -- Obama knows, and he doesn't really mind. Scotty made up his mind and voted in favor of the legislation. Is he the new Maverick? (Also, attacking his daughters is never okay, Kathy Griffin. Seriously.) This further enraged the splintering Teabagger crowd. They're also up in arms over a NAACP resolution alleging racism. ALSO, it appears the armies didn't gather, as Rick Barber lost his primary.

Obama named Jacob Lew, a top adviser to Hillary, to succeed Peter Orszag at the Office of Management and Budget. Lew held the same position in the Clinton administration. Time to get budgetin'!

A U.S. District Court judge blocked a new abortion screening law from going into effect Thursday.

New Yorkers and Yankees fans mourned the loss of George Steinbrenner. Some weren't so lucky as to have worked for him.

A federal appeals court in New York struck down the FCC's indecency rule. Considering what's on the tube these days, we ain't surprised!

Need to reach Tucker Carlson, flacks? He just got a new email address -- use it before he's sued!

Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same sex marriage. And they're still functioning. Imagine that!

The World Cup is finally over. Spain defeated the Netherlands for first place and Paul, the (psychic!) octopus went eight-for-eight. Sadly, 74 people were killed, including an American, in two bombings in Uganda, as crowds gathered to watch the final match. A Somali militant group linked to al-Qaeda claimed responsibility.

The Barefoot Bandit was arrested in the Bahamas after a high-speed boat chase. He has a long history of eluding the cops. His Facebook fans are grieving.

Are You Not Entertained?

So we're asking ourselves this: when was the last time there was good news about Mel Gibson? Assault allegations and racially-tinged rants are just the latest in a long string of trouble. His agent kicked him to the curb and it's looking like the end of his acting career. Should've kept your mouth shut and hands at your side, Mel.

Hats off to our Western Office for letting us know that Biebs dropped by in Omaha! BIEBER FEVER!

Check out Bill and Hill's latest fancy digs in New York. Four fireplaces, stables, 7,000 square feet -- for only $11M? That's a steal!

Remember that Facebook movie trailer? Here's the MySpace version.

Did John Stamos (you know, Uncle Jesse) have a fling with a 17-year-old? ...What?

Snooki has no political inclinations, but apparently voted the way she did in 2008 because Meghan's dad was "cute." Maybe a fake tan and some hair gel could have gotten you the presidency, John. Think about it.

We're not jumping to conclusions about the make-up of Glenn Beckians.

Bristol and Levi are engaged -- AGAIN. Smells like a carefully planned publicity stunt (like nearly everything that emerges from Palin-land). Sarah said thanks, but no thanks!

Interweb Tomfoolery

Good lord! Carl's Jr. is trying to out-do KFC with a foot-long burger. What was that about preventative health measures?

Case closed! Scientists say that the chicken did indeed come before the egg. In your face, eggheads.

How do you make a successful viral video? Just ask Old Spice. We're sure you've seen this awesome ad campaign featuring Isaiah Mustafa in various states of total manliness. Here's the breakdown on how this Internet phenom won our hearts. Oh, and here's his advice for Obama to win over the ladieeees.

Y'all having trouble with your new iPhone 4? Try the duct-tape workaround. Seriously, though, Apple's attempt at handling this complete media meltdown has been poor, to say the least (read this hyperbole-laden article on Steve Jobs' hubris and laugh like Queenie did), and their announcement this afternoon was one more attempt to wrangle the herd into line. The damage has been done, Stevie.

Get your *bleeping* Blago ringtones here.

Microsoft is moving to patent its electronic version of page turning. This is sad, folks. Now who's going to lay claim to the paper version?

How many of you FarmVille fans are willing to cross over to the Google? In an interesting move, Zynga (the company making millions off of Facebook games) is working with Google on their own games site. The Internet wars continue!

A new and controversial Facebook app is making the rounds that will literally lighten you up.

Out on the Town

We're in the middle of all those awesome free outdoor movies in the city. Don't miss out before they're gone!

Dave Matthews is performing at the National Park next Friday. Frat boys, you have your tickets already, right? In other dancing news, the Jamaica Day Outdoor Reggae Festival is happening in Maryland on Sunday.

CAPS FANS: Get your hockey fix in the off-season in Arlington this weekend. If you meet Ovechkin, tell him Queenie said hi!

Finally, catch Queenie at Artscape in Baltimore this weekend to see TONS of her favorite artists (including Wale!). And come with her to see Inception, Christopher Nolan's latest, released today.

Scorecard

Queenie made it back home just in time to see this TR out the door, but she wants to give a special shout-out to Turner Central for getting this one to the finish line this week. *sniff* She REALLY loves her team.

See ya next week!