Raise your hands if you're reading this on your Blackberry because your power went out! It's Friday the 13th and many DC'ers are feeling cursed by these rampant thunderstorms and gloomy weather. Queenie herself was temporarily trapped in low-lying Alexandria by flash floods. Is someone up there punishing us?!
Chin up, you guys -- bad omens are just a myth. You make your own luck! Dr. Queenie always says that laughter (and snark) is the best medicine for gloomy days, so let's get to it.
"Democrats will pull it out! Tea Party candidates are sabotaging the Right!" "Republicans will decimate in November! The Left has lost all hope!" The messages are mixed, of course, but the fact is that Americans on the whole are pretty pessimistic right now despite the overtures of either party. Blame "the new normal." Obama has gone into full Campaign Autobot mode with the two Dem themes of the moment: "Blame Bush" and "It Could Be Worse." Effective? Hopefully moreso than "Potentially Cause Government Shutdown."
Obama signed a $26 billion aid package for teachers and Medicaid payments that the House passed during a brief session. Dems had to make some sacrifices. In the final stretch before November, Repubs are going to keep raisin' a ruckus over the soon-to-be expired Bush tax cuts, so expect a lot bloodshed when Congress is back in the fall. We kinda knew that was coming already, though, no? Stewart does a great job laying out GOP hypocrisy. On the other side of the Capitol, the Senate passed $600 million in funding for border security. (Speaking of immigration, two things: is Florida the next hotspot, and does this revoking-birthright-citizenship thing have legs?)
Next week, gays in California can start getting married again -- er, barring a stay from the 9th District Court of Appeals. Opponents of same-sex marriage are planning to appeal, as expected. However, guess who doesn't think this is going to destroy America? We know!
Expect the Islam-bashing to stay in the news, thanks to potential candidates for the 2010 GOP primary. The Ground Zero mosque has stirred up all kinds of "debate," and a Fox "news" host has even proposed to build a Muslim gay bar next door to the proposed mosque to... uh... well, we're still figuring out why.
Charlie Rangel celebrated his 80th birthday with mucho fanfare, a quality two-step and a 30-minute speech about his ethics allegations. We're waiting to see who's celebrating after the House reconvenes next month. Fellow Dems are worried about the impact he and Maxine Waters will have on November.
If you thought the heat and humidity was bad out here, wait until you read about the killer (literally) heat that's scorching Moscow. Hundreds are dying from the heat, plus smog from wildfires. Also, nasty weather is causing chaos in China and Pakistan. Donate to help flood victims at Oxfam.
The Week That Was
The White House is on defense after Gibbs, out of frustration, told everyone of the "professional left" (is he talking to US?!) to take a drug test. Pundits are somewhat confused, not knowing if they're included as members of such a class. Others are taking it as a badge of honor. What do you think about Gibbsy's words? Without Bush around, we need SOMEONE to amuse us -- especially when Biden's on the short leash!
Ken Buck, of birther-bashin' and women hatin' fame, won his primary. Way to go, Colorado GOP'ers. Colorado's Democratic senator, Michael Bennet, defended his seat against a strong challenger backed by Bubba. WWE's Linda McMahon, who poured millions into her campaign, is going to the mat against AG Richard Blumenthal. We think this video may have been the reason why, but, hey, just a guess... And Angle? We don't even know what to say anymore.
Our beloved Republican informant gave us this tidbit with the requisite "ALVIIINNNN!" Turns out Mr. Greene, after gaining some press for a 23-second speech, was indicted on porn charges. Um... shocking?
Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced sweeping cuts for his department. His proposals include eliminating several boards and commissions, reducing the number of contractors and capping the number of admirals, generals and other senior officials. The most controversial proposal is the elimination of the Joint Forces Command, and the 2,800 or so jobs it comes with. Lots of peeps are not happy with it. By the by, it's only been a few weeks since the Washington Post's lengthy reports on America's intelligence apparatus. Good news, ladies -- one agency will finally have a woman at the helm.
We gotta confess, we try SO hard not to cover a certain group of "different minded" Americans -- but they are SO entertaining. Open up your wallets! The Teabaggers are running out of cash, never mind confusing their positions. You know, they could always fall back on costume extraordinaire James O'Keefe -- or just turn on each other. Also, Randy is denying everything to do with the new exposé on his sordid college past, and so is the accuser. Aqua Buddha sure was short-lived, huh? Finally, Newt's second ex has A LOT to say before he jumps into the 2012 race.
Former Alaska senator Ted Stevens was killed in a plane crash earlier this week. The series of tubes are mourning.
Are You Not Entertained?
Sarah was back home filming her reality show when one resident got a little too real for the Palins. She blames the LSM, yet again. Oh, and by the way, Sarah no longer wants you to think of her as a maverick. Also, Levi is running for office in Wasilla! No joke.
Entourage is coming to an end next year; look for it to hit the silver screen soon thereafter.
Tune in to Meet the Press Sunday for the beginning of a three-week media blitz by General David Petreaus.
"He knows who I am."
Queenie wants a set of these for herself! Check out these Journalism Warning Labels, courtesy of John Scott, and use the free PDF to get a set of your own. Revolutionary? Just maybe.
Apple geeks have a new reason to make the journey to London. Please be careful out there.
Rep. Ed Markey has something to say to global warming deniers. Hey, it may be for the better.
Best viral hoax of the week? Obviously, it was Dry Erase Board Girl. We wanted this to be real so badly.
The terror baby story is making a comeback thanks to Texas state representative Debbie Riddle, who despises not being told beforehand of a grillin' courtesy of CNN's favorite Silver Fox.
Jet Blue is in the news again because one of its flight attendants had a hissy fit and left the job in a very dramatic fashion. (Before anyone asks, no, Turner Central does NOT have an emergency slide for escape. If it did, we'd use it every friggin' day!) Now, he's got a growing Facebook fan base and his own website. Enjoy that 15 minutes, my dude!
This lady really wanted her McNuggets.
We like to make references to famous Internet memes now and then, but we realize it can be hard to track them all. This handy chart, divided by date and popularity, will help you stay organized AND hip.
Out on the Town
Queenie will be kickin' it at the Trombone Shorty show tonight! It's a great concert weekend, guys, especially if you're down with some old school stuff. Public Enemy is at 930 Club on Saturday, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers rock out in Bristow on Sunday (don't worry, folks -- doors open at 7, so you'll be home nice and early). We can't offer you Depeche Mode live, but Little Miss Whiskey's is the next best thing. And heads up: Rodrigo y Gabriela (with Queenie's fave Aussie Xavier Rudd) are playing at Wolftrap on the 24th. Amazing musicians and the best venue ever? Get those picnic baskets and wine bottles ready!
Although Queenie can't make it, she highly recommends the Alexandria Irish Festival in Old Town on Saturday! All the best pubs represent (Murphy's forever!) and the drinking songs will be going all day. On Sunday, get your last-chance festival fix on N Street with some cool local artists. (Speaking of art, the Corcoran is offering free admission on Saturdays until September 4.) And don't miss your last chance to hit The Temporium, a pop-up design shop and lounge that closes on Sunday.
Finally, Queenie recs the hilarious Patton Oswalt Saturday night at Warner Theater. Check out his stand up here.
PS: Keep your Twitterstreams up, guys -- there's a lobster truck in town.
Couldn't make it to MediaMorphosis? We've got the video here, and don't forget to take notes. (And yes, the video quality isn't the greatest, but Queenie did the best she could! Anyone want to donate some fancy-shmancy recording equipment?) Next one will be in October, so look out for informative email updates!
Until next week,