Friday, August 27, 2010

8.27.10: Addressing Iraq, Celebrating Microbes, and the Truth Comes Out

What a beautiful day! Give this thing a look-see and then get the heck outside. Summer will be over faster than you know it, and we'd hate for you to miss your daily dose of vitamin D.


Protesters on both sides of the Islamic community center battle near Ground Zero were out in force over the weekend. Mayor Bloomberg is joining the fray even more, and reveals what we all probably knew: there's always a mosque four blocks away. Fox "News" is doing a good job stirring up the rage, but we only hear crickets when something more sinister is revealed. Don't worry -- Jon Stewart is ON this. We're really tired of the peeps holding the Sharia signs, and the revolting violence -- and this. What happened to common sense? Also, please try spell check before heading off to Kinko's. The Internet makes it REALLY EASY, you guys.

We have a new tidbit about how Repubs will run the House: "We'll show Americans fiscal restraint by repealing the ban on earmarks!" You tell 'em, Eric. Business groups are asking the Senate to extend tax breaks for the wealthy? We're shocked. Is it time to reform the system? And Mr. "Hell No" Boehner rolled out his campaign to be the next Speaker. Here's a better plan, Dems. Mitt is going on a road trip. He's dropping the suit in favor of jeans and a pickup truck. We're hoping he leaves the dog at home. Meanwhile, a bunch of Mass. Dems are amassing millions to take on Scotty in 2012.

Tune in next Tuesday for Obama's Iraq address from the Oval Office. He'll also be at Fort Bliss, TX, to meet with troops returning home. And don't bill this as a complete withdrawal -- 50k troops aren't there to just hang out, y'all.

The egg recall has been taking over the remainder of the news cycle. Should get going with that whole food safety thing, right, Congress? Hello? Anyone? Oh, wait, we forgot -- this and other food safety stories tend to die in rabid media cycles faster than you can blink.

The independent compensation fund for residents and companies affected by the BP spill began taking claims this week. And apparently the job-loss scenario wasn't as bad as it could have been. We're now in the "seeing who else we can blame" part of the cycle, although giving credit to microbes for cleaning the water is new to us. How reliable are these microbes? Who is regulating this?!

It's been five years since Hurricane Katrina roared ashore and devastated the Gulf Coast. Expect tributes this weekend.

The Week That Was

Like John Hockenberry eloquently said, "you have to be rich or weird" to win these primaries. Our favorite feisty, not-maverick overcame a not-so-serious challenge from Tea Partier J.D. Hayworth. Outside the lower 48, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is very close behind Sister Sarah's Joe Miller and Sarah is getting all the credit. Ben Quayle eked out a victory, and it was all because of dad. Our favorite Senate candidate, Alvin Greene, caused quite a ruckus at a meeting of fellow Democrats -- and was promptly booted to the curb. Maybe he was just trying to sell his dolls? Finally, a note to Sarah's donors: you can't list your occupation as "freedom fighter," nor can you be "everyONE."

Why are primary upsets like Alaska's important? E.J. Dionne summed it up well: "The agitation among Republicans is not surprising, given the trauma of the final years of George W. Bush's presidency. After heavy losses in 2006 and 2008, it was natural that GOP loyalists would seek a new direction." But what's the future of this new direction? Is it Tea Party-ville?

Did you hear that? The RNC quietly filed its report last Friday night. Michael's team only has $5 million on hand and $2 million of debt heading into the fall.

Guess who came out? Two people, actually: one spent many years actively working against gay rights, and the other actively worked against countless supervillains with his primary color-themed coworkers. That's right -- former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman and former hero the Blue Power Ranger just happened to ride the same little wave of publicity. Fox is ALL over this.

Jimmy Carter flew to North Korea, on a mission to release an American citizen who "just happened" to cross across the border. Kim Jong Il was no where to be found. Sources say he's in China with his son. Is he preparing to turn over the reigns?

In policy news, Virginia's Ken Cuccinelli seeks to become the most controversial state AG in the country. His office released a legal opinion that would place greater restrictions on clinics that provide abortions. The White House is reviewing a recent court ruling that temporary halts expansion of stem cell research. The Senate will be holding hearings in September.

Wal-Mart has appealed to the Supreme Court over a class-action lawsuit alleging gender bias.

A little bit of PR humor! We're sure you flacks caught the NYT story on crisis communications fails from last weekend (if you didn't, take a gander). They had to issue a correction after misspelling an extremely well-known PR exec. What's to blame -- poor copy-editing, or lazy journalism?

Are You Not Entertained?

Over the weekend, Bill O'Reilly let his informed viewers (and us) know about his disgust for Kim Kardashian taking Biebs away from him.

Yeah, yeah, Bristol will be on Dancing with the Stars. You know who else? The Situation. She's really reaching out to do some good community work, you guys.

The Situation is making WAY too much money, and that's one more reason why New Jerseyan voters are angry!

Snoop Dogg (he's in town this week, by the by) set a new UStream record when he blew up a tank in Nevada for Mafia Wars (you know, the Facebook game you deleted from your NewsFeed). Way to stay relevant, Snoop!

One of our beloved Turner Central court members advised Queenie of a new acronym for older cycling fans: "MAMILs," or Middle-Aged Men in Lycra. Now, Queenie sees more dreadlocked bike messengers and hipsters who are too cool for helmets than anything else -- has anyone spotted these creatures in the wild?

Interweb Tomfoolery

The Twitterverse is exploding over Obama's faith. Members of the GOP establishment think it's a-okay to keep this non-story rolling. We feel for ya, Mr. Tapper, but there's no point in talking to stupid.

Is this the future of journalism, folks? Slate writer Jonah Weiner (immature giggle) took it upon himself to fashion Kanye's Tweets into an "all-access totally non-exclusive interview." We can't imagine how long this took to do (slow day at the office, Jonah?), but it does make us wonder if someday we'll stop interviewing celebrities at all. Flacks, take note.

We have another proud campaigner to show you on the 'Tube. Is HE the next (who, obviously, set the standard)? Or is he self-aware too? These politicians are funny, but when they do it on purpose it just ruins the whole game. Same goes for their supporters.

Speaking of YouTube, did you know you can watch full-length movies now? Took them long enough.

Queenie spent a few years in college working for Starbucks (yes, it was fun, and no, she didn't like waking up at 4 am), but she was never subjected to training videos. Much less rapping training videos. Much less... well, see for yourself.

So much money news this week. Facebook is worth $33 billion (or more). Seems like their power is growing just as fast, especially when you've got Germany legally protecting your profile's privacy.

We love it when The Today Show catches on to "popular Internet trends" in a timely fashion. Catch Antoine Dodson, of the Bed Intruder Song, being taken entirely too seriously.

Out on the Town

Care to witness Teabaggery reaching a new level? Sarah, Glenn and fans (and their dogs) are coming to town tomorrow to "reclaim the civil rights movement." One Maine organizer is scaring the sh*t out of his fellow patriots. Nope, no racism here! Also, it makes so much sense to come here, you know, when their representatives are OUT of town. Let's hope they've bathed beforehand, and that they stop stealing all the bagels. Luckily, conservatives exist who don't support this nonsense.

Feeling less political? Queenie's lit-nerd instincts love the sound of this Poetry in the Park event at Rock Creek. If you're more in a party-and-animal-zoo mood, Columbia Heights has got you covered.

Old school concert time: catch Donna Summer at Wolf Trap (and don't forget to bring the wine!); celebrate Chuck Brown's birthday with some go-go at the 930 Club; and here's another obligatory mention of Rock the Bells happening Saturday.

Heads up, foodies! First, head out to Annapolis for the Tomato Festival -- $10 gets you in for food samples, cook-offs and a pizza eating contest. (No word on if our Royal Executioner will be taking part.) Second, have you been celebrating DC Beer Week properly? Catch the R.F.D. Firkin Spectacular (such a great name) for some open bar tastings. Finally (you seafood-eating hipsters), prep your tummy for Crabs and Beer Sundays at Tonic - and by "beer," we mean "PBR," which is ALMOST like beer. Then go drop a Pepcid and resolve never to eat like that again... until next weekend. (PS: Want to try a Snooki burger? ...Neither do we.)


Ground Zero remained in the spotlight, Iraq's withdrawal is sticking around too - and, eGADS, Sarah just won't go away. She's like a pesky mosquito, or a nagging squirrel in the backyard that's torturing the dog. Ridiculous similes aside, we DID see our favorite Internet meme get briefly taken over by (of all people) Michael Cera. Keanu! Come back to us!

Phew, there he is.

See you next week!

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