Friday, December 3, 2010

12.3.10: Surprising Afghanistan, Surviving the Wiki-Dump and Dubya's Revenge

Cold enough for you? Winter has arrived post-Turkey day, and since the holiday music (aargh!) is already blazing away in most stores people are bringing up snow. UGH. Doesn't anyone remember last year?! If that happens again, that's it -- Queenie's making an Executive Decision to move Turner Central to San Diego.

That said, she'd love it if you donated to her newly-created Heat Up the Snark Foundation, which works to bring freezing Queens of Snark and their Royal Courts to warmer locales. A $100 donation is a GREAT holiday present!

Forecast

Surpriiise! As our Republican Informant said to Queenie earlier today, Barry "took a page from Dubya's playbook" and made a surprise trip to Afghanistan. Sharp jacket there, buddy. The 3-hour visit comes right before Obama will receive an update about his strategy in Afghanistan/Pakistin -- given the poll results lately, the next steps forward won't get any easier.

H'ray! No government shutdown! Yet!

Well, who woulda thunk it? Repubs are back to their NO, NO, NO alternative-form-of-legislating thing. Apparently, the rich people MUST be "helped out" first, and then everyone else can be served. Unemployment benefits for more than two million Americans ran out this week (Happy Holidays!), the jobs report broke hearts today and it looks like Scotty is mighty afraid that some tea bags could end up in his mailbox again. The fiscal debt commission has failed to get enough votes to send its report to Congress, although they are still proud of themselves.

Sen. Patty Murray, of Washington state, is slated to chair the DSCC for the 2012 cycle. Her job will be to raise boatloads of cash as Democrats prepare to defend nearly two dozen seats in the Senate. Murray takes the reigns from Charles Schumer. We're hoping Michael Steele will hang on to lead the RNC for another two glorious years, but alas, things aren't looking that great for the guy who "ain't going anywhere." $4.4M in RNC debt ain't helping neither, although the RNC issued a response to Sir Gentry Collins' bashing the other week. And is the GOP trying again to reach out to Latinos after the disastrous candidacies of candidates like Sharron Angle?

GOP'ers are ganging up on Sarah, because she apparently is going to run for president one day. First it was Scarborough, who told his fellow Repubs to man up. (Isn't that term getting old already?). Then a CNN'er told her and others to stop comparing themselves to that Reagan guy -- "whoever he is," said millennials. THEN she got yelled a question by a big, mean reporter at an Iowa event -- which, for some reason, is news.

It's the EPA's 40th anniversary, and Lisa Jackson had an op-ed in the WSJ that we highly recommend.

The locations of the next two World Cup(s) have been announced, and tiny, scorching hot Qatar has won their bid for 2022. (Russia got 2018.) Reviews have been mixed, to say the least.

The Week That Was

Finally, something Democrats AND Republicans agree on! Wikileaks took another major document dump -- this time releasing thousands of cables from the State Department. Obviously, Hillary and State are not happy about this. DOJ is looking into legal action against WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, who is also internationally wanted (somewhere, out there, a screenwriter is struggling to turn this story into the next big blockbuster) and who says that the next round of cables will mention UFOs (make that SEVERAL screenwriters, and put the laptop down, Shymalan). EveryDNS has also wiped them from their servers. Next on the WikiLeaks hit list: Bank of America.

Oh, by the way: Assange made a rap song. You're welcome.

Hoping to head off a GOP "victory" lap, Obama announced a pay freeze for federal workers, excluding the military. So, what's the electoral math going to look like for Democrats in Virginia come 2012?

Well, yes, folks, the Senate got something done during this lameduck week. By a 73-25 vote, senators passed food safety legislation. But Roll Call says a blunder might delay a signature from Barry. Whooops. Mark Kirk was finally sworn in, becoming the "42nd" GOP senator, and claimed Barry's old seat.

In a move now being called Dubya's Revenge (cue signature chuckle), House Democrats (most of them at least) voted in support of tax cuts for the middle class. Mr. Boehner called the maneuvering "chicken crap" (apparently forgetting some earlier statements) and was later seen welling up when speaking about the millionaires he's fighting to protect. Those tears get us EVERY time. The House also passed a child nutrition bill, championed by Michelle Obama. This was the legislation Sarah got riled up about because she wants all children to eat junk food all day long, forever. Maybe she could partner up with KFC on Twitter?

The Pentagon released its much anticipated report, which concluded that most service members would not object to gays serving openly (the Marines and Air Force highest commanders, however, do). The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing Thursday. As expected, John McCain came up with yet another excuse on why he flip-flopped on his position on DADT. We're guessing McCain is going to call for another study of this study, perhaps with a companion study. The repeal is in jeopardy, now that Senate Republicans have threatened to hold the legislative process hostage so that they can help the rich. Have we mentioned that?

Dancing With The Stars' Tom DeLay was convicted of money laundering over Thanksgiving break. The Hammer has fallen! Also, Charlie Rangel was censured by his colleagues Thursday night. This WaPo reporter had a bit of fun describing how it all went down -- such evocative imagery! Charlie maintains there's no evidence of wrongdoing. It's okay, Chuck. You can sit down now. No, really.

Are You Not Entertained?

Haha, we pity you, Kardashian Kard carriers, and not because the program has been canceled. Speaking of Kim, she and several other celebs have declared themselves "digitally dead" to raise money for AIDS Day, and it didn't work so well. Should have done something like this instead!

Baw-bwa Walters' most interesting people of the year make us sad.

Superstar PSA-celebrity Bristol Palin has gotten in a war of words with Keith Olbermann. She couldn't stomach being named the worst person in the world for one day. And we all know that Bristol, herself, drafted the response.

Christine O'Donnell will write a memoir about her 2010 Senate race. Great.

REEEEGIS got all Grabby McSexualHarassmentLawsuit with rapper Nicki Minaj this week, which was just awful. Does he even know where he is anymore? If he truly doesn't understand why that's inappropriate, it's time for the home, Grandpa.

Oprah's first vague and will.i.am-starring promo for her new network has hit theaters. This is only the beginning of the marketing overload, which has been two years in the making. Will you watching O when she takes over the Discovery Health Channel? (And HOW will we get our "OMG, check out this terrifying disease!"/I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant fix?!)

Justin Bieber wore a creepy pencil mustache. Also, Hugh Jackman held a puppy. And Chuck Norris is now an actual Texas Ranger. You can go home for the day, folks -- our work here is done.

Interweb Tomfoolery

Firefox has teamed up with the Knoxville Zoo to support red panda conservation, producing live feeds of the zoo's red panda enclo- AWWW. This is a marketing uber-win! We mean, c'mon. You're telling us that if enough people download Firefox 4, these cubs will get a new treat? (Yes, people, that was a hint!)

Scientists have reversed the aging process in mice. Are HUMANS next?!

Yo, nerds -- the Air Force has used nearly 2,000 PS3's to create the fastest interactive computer system in the DoD, because Black Ops just came out and- wait, what? This is useful? Awesome!

Dubya was over at Facebook HQ continuing his book tour, and uh, doing a little ass-kissing.

NASA did not find signs of extraterrestrial life (shame on you, bloggers!). They did, however, discover new bacteria that is partly arsenic in composition, WHICH IS A HUGE SCIENTIFIC ACCOMPLISHMENT, YOU GUYS. You guys?

Anyone need a spare aircraft carrier? We mean, it's the holidays! Time to buy that special present for that guy who has everything. (Don't you hate that guy?) For example, who wouldn't want Lee Harvey Oswald's coffin?

Out on the Town

Hipsters, will we be seeing you at the BYT/Newseum holiday party this evening? After-hours access to the Newseums, drink, DJ's, photobooths, art exhibits... if you need more convincing, don't bother. We love this late night gallery/museum party stuff, and First Friday in Dupont Circle is no different (a nice evening out for the wine and cheese set). Cap off the culturally-enlivening weekend with an Irish Film Festival (go see The Secret of Kells! A beautiful animated film!) just because you can.

Holiday cheeseball alert! Come to Queenie's hood for a holiday light boat parade (yes, that's right, we said BOAT PARADE) at 6 p.m Saturday. The holiday events are kicking off strong, and the WaPo Going Out Guide is all over it. This weekend, hit up the Jewmongous Hanukkah Party, the Santa Fly-In, Scuba Santa and (natch) The Nutcracker.

It's a great weekend for indie bands. Queenie recommends Warpaint or The Antlers on Saturday and Chief on Sunday. If you have Walkmen tickets for tonight, more power to you.

Scorecard

Mmm, Wikileaks. That was a holiday treat, no? Nothing like SHOCKING REVELATIONS to tide you through the long weekend! The TSA story was, yes, blown out of proportion, although it helps to know your rights. And the Palins... eh, whatever. As much as we pray, they're not going anywhere.

Until next week!

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