Friday, August 20, 2010

8.20.10: Defending Religious Freedom, Embracing the Cackle and, What is This, the Bieber Report?

We thought August was supposed to be slow! Instead, we're receiving tips left and right on GOP antics, suggestively-shaped graphs, funny videos, attacks on Islam and ninja gingerbread men (say that 10 times fast). Aren't you people supposed to be on vacation?! (Not you, Barack. Go enjoy the Vineyard.)

Eh, so is Queenie, for that matter. We're all in this together, folks -- get those snarkin' hats on and let's do this thing right.

Forecast

This whole deal with the Islamic community center (note to media -- stop making up stories) is taking center stage with the elections just around the corner. Alas, some GOPers still have some sense left in them. Of course, Sarah had to jump in. Even the strippers who work near Ground Zero (at clubs located closer to GZ than the mosque, by the way) are having a say. Obama waded in, but the fact that nearly a third of Repubs think Obama is muslim is causing some backlash. (Queenie has to chime in here: since when are we at war with all of Islam? Now people are proposing Qur'an burnings?!) And, thanks to all this, Ground Zero has a different air to it lately, according to Wonkette.

Barry is taking a hit in the polls and some pundits say he's disconnected and headed for defeat in 2012. Might be time for a new communications strategy? Keep your chins up, progressives! Don't be afraid to fight for freedom of religion if you truly do believe in it -- take a lesson from Keith and maybe even John Oliver. Not to mention that, while we're off arguing about whether or not the Prez should have commented, the Republicans will keep dangling the shiny sh*t in front of us to distract us from REAL issues. Ones that stick around longer than a few weeks. Ones like this. And this. And this and this and this.

Speaking of issues -- are the culture wars over?

Arizona legislators aren't looking to tweak their tough immigration law any time soon. Meanwhile, Nebraska's attorney general agreed to a federal injunction to prevent a law requiring screenings for abortions to go into effect. Finally, sorry, gays -- it looks like the courts have done y'all in again. Same-sex marriage is again off the table in California. And it looks like the White House may be getting tired of gay bloggers.

It looks like the President is keeping his word about the withdrawal of combat troops by the end of August. The last American combat brigade crossed the border into Kuwait. 56,000 troops remain in Iraq. In the coming months, the State Department will be ramping up its involvement in security issues. Watch out for the requisite Colbert special to honor the troops, and expect tons of foreign policy play on Sunday.

See ya, Robbie -- Gates confirmed reports that he will be leaving the Pentagon by the end of next year.

Run like hell: Glenn Beck and Sarah are coming to town.

The Week That Was

We're in the middle of August recess, so not much going on legislatively. That hasn't stopped campaign season from gearing up, though: A busy Barry made appearances in California, Florida, Ohio, Washington state, and Wisconsin, campaigning away for hope.

Sen. Lautenberg is raking in dough with tickets for Lady GaGa. Who says senators aren't hip? Alvin Greene howled in protest -- literally -- after a reporter asked about last week's indictment. We also have a totally awesome interview with the candidate. Republicans are getting big bucks from Roger Ailes' News Corp. Fair and balanced, inDEED. They're spending it on goofy ads spoofing Steven Slater.

On Wednesday, we celebrated the 90th anniversary of ratification of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed to women the right to vote. What happened on this day in 2010? Sarah. Freakin'. Palin. She managed to upset the entire feminist community on Twitter when she accused feminists of hijacking the term feminist. Those sneaky feminists! That CACKLE of RADS. How DARE they be part of a movement that coined, defined and defended the term well before she came along! Well, it's true that EMILY's List had started a campaign to bring women to the polls by voting against Sarah's "Mama Grizzlies." So what has Sarah accomplished by calling feminists out? Bringing them together even more. Nice. This coupled with her defense of Dr. Laura's racist ranting has made it quite a week for Sarah. Seems like alienating women and African-Americans was on the GOP to-do list this week, huh?

BP stopped accepting claims from folks affected by the spill Wednesday. The Gulf Coast Claims Facility will handle all subsequent claims. Despite reports suggesting otherwise, Gulf Coast residents are wary of the seafood down there. None of this has prevented the politicos from going gaga over O's dip in the Gulf.

The Hammer avoids the slammer. The Justice Department, after a six-year investigation, is not pressing charges against the former majority leader relating to the Jack Abramoff scandal. DeLay still faces an investigation in Texas on unrelated charges. In other crime news, Blago plans to appeal the one(!) conviction brought against him. Criminals everywhere are clamoring for his attorney. He should be thankful he didn't have this Judge Judy presiding.

Tea Partiers had a little fun (and provided some comic relief for our southern neighbors) over the weekend by yelling through that big fence along the Arizona border. Oh, and this little story comes out of Dayton, OH: a Tea Party experiment in free markets fails. Keep the comedy rolling, Teabaggers! Also, the Supreme Court smacked down birther queen Orly Taitz with a $20,000 fine. We think she should pay up far more than that. Steve King might be able to help you, Orly.

Check the fridge: Hundreds of millions of eggs are affected by a massive recall.

Pakistan is still struggling in the aftermath of devastating flooding. The international community has been a bit slow in providing aid. This week, we found an organization focused on helping women and girls with health issues during this crisis -- you can buy someone a $30 kit fulfilling these needs. More info here.

Are You Not Entertained?

Sigh. We thought you were better than that, NYT. Please, don't give Biebs the idea he belongs in the White House! Although, in terms of foreign policy, it might be a boon. Maybe he would Tweet Ahmadinejad's phone number? In other Biebs news, he may be doing a collaboration with Kanye West and Raekwon, which just might make Queenie's head explode. Kanye and Biebs, BFFs? Finally, what happens when you slow a Bieber song down 800 times? You actually don't hate the song. Amazing! (Wow, way too much Bieber today. Seriously.)

Another Jersey Shore cast member is arrested. GTL, baby!

The Backstreet Boys are BACK! All right? (Touring with New Kids on the Block... whoever they are.)

Queenie's shameless crush on Joseph Gordon-Levitt (STAR of Inception!) has just been augmented. Ladies, worth a watch. Guys, take a lesson.

Jonah Hill (a movie star) and Elmo (a muppet star) discover all the things you can do with a mustache. Wait, what?

Donald Rumsfeld on a unicycle? It MUST be August.

Our Royal Executioner is up in arms that this pizza burger (burger pizza?!) isn't available in DC. Time for a class field trip?

Interweb Tomfoolery

A story hit this week from Wired, who declared that The Web is Dead. Nerds have carefully dissected the validity of these claims, promptly posting the results... online. *sigh*

Twitterers, did you get taken in by the Twifficiency twend this week? Twidiculous, no? Queenie avoided it, finding the updates to be total twoverkill, but props to this 17-year-old for his... (wait for it...) twingenuity. (We're here all week!)

Facebook launches Places. Getting creepier, are we? It's just a business move, and, given FB's track record, it'll probably manage to replace those other geo-location services out there.

Note to candidates: when imitating popular online marketing ploys, at least have the gonads to do it WELL. And, when faking endorsements from popular sports coaches, get your intern to learn better Photoshop, would you?

Why does Keanu Reeves keep setting the Internet up like this? Does he know? Is this all a Keanu-planned conspiracy?

Zebras on the loose in this northern California town, and a bull jumps the fence in Spain. It must be an animal-themed week, guys -- Queenie's cuteness quotient was reached after this whole penguins-chasing-butterflies thing hit the 'tubes.

Sorry West Coast, Five Guys still has the edge!

Starbucks tantrum! This professor isn't going back anytime soon. How many of you have a Starbucks story?

Good ol' Fred Thompson has demanded that Barry stop stealing his bananas. No, Fred, that didn't sound racist AT ALL.

Out on the Town

We love going out and doing good -- at the same time! Hit up the Gibson Guitar Show Room for an open bar (for $15! With Dogfish Ale! ...H'ray!) and a show to benefit Nashville flood victims. Also worth mentioning: Rihanna's in Bristow tonight. Finally -- yet ANOTHER dance festival? Go, if only to burn off the calories in advance from the following awesome food & drink events!

All things beer at the Rock and Roll Hotel tonight! Celebrate DC Beer Week with your choice of events, from brunches to cruises to tastings to concerts to baseball. Seriously, this is epic AND ridiculous.

Two new food trucks have been capturing the attention of DC foodies this week: one sells lobster rolls and the other sells poutine. Is this food truck craze getting out of hand? Judging by the lobster roll line yesterday, not yet. Our favorite is still Fojol Bros., of course. What's yours?

Speaking of food, DC Restaurant Week is closing up tonight -- just in time for Alexandria's to start. Queenie loves O'Connells, Bilbo Baggins and Geranio -- but recommends Taverna Cretakou for delicious Greek eats even though it's not on the list. Ask to sit on the patio.

Shameless Self-Promotion

Turner Central loves Hope House DC, a non-profit dedicated to strengthening bonds between children and their imprisoned fathers. Recently, a Turner team member went to Cumberland, MD, with reporters to see Hope House's annual summer camp in action. Check out the great story here.

Scorecard

Stay breezy, kiddos! Summer's almost over, which means it's almost time for DC to feel busy again. Squeeze in those last vacays and BBQ's -- and don't forget to invite your favorite snarky Royalty, would you?

Until next Friday,

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