Friday, June 25, 2010
Oohh, it's been QUITE a week. There's a ton of drama in Washington after General Stanley McChrystal was relieved of his command in Afghanistan. That Rolling Stone interview hit like a brick, detailing his criticism of senior administration officials (including Veep Biden) over the war in Afghanistan. This, uh, wasn't the best time for this to happen. McChrystal apologized for the article, but the damage was done. General Petraeus will succeed McChrystal, and liberals will keep pretending like they didn't complain about Petraeus all of last year. Afghanistan will run the Sunday shows since Gates and Rahm say we might have to stay beyond the July 2011 deadline to pull out. Will Joe keep to himself? We seriously doubt it.
The finreg bill has passed! Blanche Lincoln is stood her ground, but was clearly flustered by the opposition to her provision restricting derivatives trading. In the end, Democrats got most of what they wanted. Wall Street will be getting quite the deal with derivatives -- courtesy of Scott Brown. The next bill on the agenda? Climate change before the August break. Go big or go home, y'all!
Breaking Resignation News About Someone Other Than McChrystal: David Weigel, of the Washington Post, has resigned as of today due to some heated emails he sent about, for example, conservatives he'd like to see light themselves on fire. Many pundits and writers are mourning the loss, and it's an interesting addition to the post-Helen Thomas chatter about journalists who have opinions and whether they can be still fair in their reporting.
White House Budget Director Peter Orszag announced his resignation this week. He'll be leaving sometime in July. It's been a grueling year and half for him, with the passage of economic stimulus and HC reform. Other rumors abound that Rahm will leave the White House soon, which would make Sarah's day. We'll believe it when we hear it from Rahm himself.
Ah, the Elena Kagan attacks are finally here!
The 2012 presidential campaign is heating up... at least for Mike Huckabee. He's already moved to Florida, and, folks, read this New Yorker piece. You trying to tell us something, Huck?
Step aside, Arizona -- Fremont, Nebraska is the latest jurisdiction to pass tough immigration law. We smell lawsuits!
The Week That Was
Surprise! BP's initial internal estimate of the spill was far worse than both the company and government were publicly stating. BP had to temporarily lift the cap from the gushing well after one of its robots had a wittle accident. Will a name change be the cure? Also, a federal judge ruled against the administration's temporary moratorium against off-shore drilling. Conflict of interest, anyone?
BP's Tony Hayward had a John Kerry moment over the weekend when he returned to England to take in some yachting. Sigh, yet another bad move in the PR department. (We'll give him half of a cookie for canceling an appearance at the oil conference in London). Hey, if anyone is down there at the spill site, can you let us know if you see any of BP's fake journalists milling around?
Republicans and Ben Nelson (jeez, him again?) slapped down the jobless by maintaining a filibuster against modest tax cuts and unemployment benefits. Are Repubs trying to ruin the economy?
Despite all the drama in South Carolina's GOP gubernatorial primary race, Nikki Haley emerged practically unscathed with a commanding victory. Rep. Bob Inglis, also from South Carolina, lost his seat by more than 40 points and became the third House incumbent to bite the dust. Ouch. How crazy will the Senate be if the Tea Partiers make it in? We've all bore witness to their fierce independence. Seriously, you can't have it both ways to be credible. Finally, do you live in one of these awesome Tea Party states? (What color are you guys on the voting map? Brown?)
Senators John Ensign and David Vitter are once again in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Oy, it looks like Texas Democrats have their own version of Alvin Greene on their hands. On the other side of the aisle, we have Republicans looking to criminalize gay marriage and ban pornography and strip clubs. Really? We thought the latter were an RNC staple.
Some nuggets from Rod Blagojevich's corruption trial: Big donations from the Big Apple and his aide would sometimes sign or veto bills whenever staff couldn't track the governor down.
Mark Sanford was, uh, missing from the office Monday. No need to tell your second-in-command about your whereabouts. Jenny and Mark were briefly reunited at Nikki Haley's victory party.
Are You Not Entertained?
If you know Glenn Beck is in your neighborhood, we urge you to have a picture of Nancy Pelosi on hand!
Oprah is searching for the next host of a TV show on her new cable network, and if you haven't heard of Zach Anner by now we are really surprised. He is in the running to become the O's next star, and with 8 million votes and counting we're hoping it takes it all the way. TEAM ZACH!
Jeopardy got auto-tuned. We were over this whole trend a while ago, but we can't be mad at Alex Trebek. Just look at that face!
A CBS News exec. makes startling confession: We're not covering Afghanistan that much because our correspondent is on maternity leave. So much for a "still resilient" industry...
Jersey Shore Friggin' Update, you guys: the Twilight parody.
Former New York Governor and prostitute patron Eliot Spitzer has a new gig on CNN.
The release of the new iPhone is looking more and more like a slow-motion train wreck. People were lining the streets, and celebs like Jason Bateman were using their star power to be great big jerks and cut the line. (So why did Donald Glover have to wait?) Apple and AT&T are going around canceling orders now. Not only that, but apparently if you hold the phone wrong (for example, in your left hand) you can't make calls. Apple's response? "Don't hold it like that."
We're not the biggest Foursquare fans for our personal lives (no stalking allowed, guys) but for organizations and businesses we totally get it. Turns out C-SPAN gets it too!
Oh, J.D., were you biting your nails and hoping this video didn't resurface during the campaign? Wishful thinking.
This video has been making the rounds, but we can't help but wish we could rep our city for a better reason than crazy Metro dancing. We're cool, we swear!
World Cup, meet Team America.
From top lobbyist to pizza server. How the mighty have fallen!
Out on the Town
Hmm... apparently it's festival time here in DC this weekend, and since it will most likely continue to be almost-100-degree-omg-my-make-up-is-sweating-off weather, slather on the sunscreen and get outside! The Folklife Festival is here -- finally -- focusing on Asian Pacific Americans and Mexico. You can get your jams on at the Del Ray Music Festival in Alexandria. If you still need to dance, head over to the D.C. Caribbean Carnival on Georgia Avenue. And, finally, stuff your face at the National Capital Barbecue Battle -- Queenie went last year and, believe her, it is a tasty time.
Need to work off the grub? The National Press Club's BEAT THE DEADLINE (hah!) 5k is July 17th at 8 am. Start training, journos!
Are you a fan of after-hours parties at art museums? There are more of them around here than you'd think. Phillips After 5 is throwing their next one July 1, and if you want a ticket buy them now. Queenie has learned the hard way not to stand between the beautiful people and those little cups of wine!
If you're trying to go watch the USA play tomorrow, we say: good friggin' luck! Bars will be PACKED, and the supercool viewing party in Dupont will be even worse. We're just warning you, though -- it may be packed, but it will be fun. The energy will be sky-high after last week's win!
What a week! The Barton story tried to come back (we're... sorry?), but McChrystal pretty much took over that news cycle -- hope you didn't try to break anything on Wednesday, folks.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Back to work, slackers. Better yet, hang out with us! You're probably still tired from all that post-Lakers game rioting anyway, right?
Will anybody be talking about sorry Joe Barton a few weeks from now? After Tony Hayward incurred the fiery wrath of both Dems and Repubs Thursday, Joe Barton flipped it and reversed it. The story probably will die (it's a quick movin' news cycle out there, y'all), especially if Barton follows orders to sit down and shut up. But if Dems (and the foaming-at-the-mouth bloggers who love them) are smart, they'll keep squeezing every last drop out of this gift from the Right (and the gift of Hayward, who has now passed the ball to the next guy). Obama and Democrats are hoping to use the spill to push for a new energy bill, but that's not going over so well.
Does this sneaky Pundit Lunch signify Obama's attempts at winning back the lefty media? (Answer: Um, duh.)
Financial regulatory reform is moving along, but after Blanche Lincoln's close victory, banks are likely to get the better end of the deal. Meanwhile, mortgage giants Fannie and Freddie are preparing to be de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange. The House and Senate hope to resolve differences before the July 4 recess.
Weekly Kagan Data Dump Update (Dump-Date?): E-mail Edition. T-minus 10 days until hearings begin.
Afghanistan has taken over the news more lately, both for the usual reasons and for new surprises. According to the New York Times, the United States has just discovered $1 trillion worth (or $3 trillion) of untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan. The discovery could change the military and political landscape of the country. But another journalist claims the U.S. was aware of these resources nearly two years prior.
Ethnic unrest in Kyrgyzstan left thousands dead this week. Even more minority Uzbeks are fleeing to their home country as violence threatens to derail parliamentarian elections -- this is quickly becoming a wide-scale humanitarian crisis.
Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children!? Not so for one Arizona legislator, who wants to make sure children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants are not granted citizenship under the 14th Amendment. How much squeezing can Arizona take? Well, if Hillary's right, maybe just a BIT more -- in the form of a lawsuit from the White House. Jan Brewer is, er, less than pleased.
The Week That Was
This week the Obama Administration made it's biggest PR push yet to stay on top of the BP oil spill. Barry was in the Gulf for a two-day swing visiting residents, declared that he "can't suck [the oil] up with a straw," and then jetted back to DC for an address to the nation. Unfortunately, most folks tuned out, and his speech may have been too difficult to understand. (Thanks, professor.) He also met with BP's top execs and worked out a tentative deal to create a $20B fund to pay claims. BP still doesn't get the PR game -- and calling people small hasn't exactly worked out. Maybe they should take some cues from their corporate brethren? Also, they shouldn't expect any pats on the back from fellow oil companies, who were grilled themselves on Tuesday.
General David Petraeus fainted Tuesday before a Senate hearing. He swore it wasn't because of the Maverick's questioning.
This week we had more teabaggers making fools out of themselves. Keep it coming! And we're not done yet with crazy campaign ads (and endorsements) from Alabama. Former Democrat-turned-Tea Partier Sharron Angle received a warm welcome on Fox and Friends, but the interview was panned by local affiliates and the DNC. A South Carolina lawmaker is darn proud of his redneck roots, another one is endorsing "lying" Nikki Haley and that last SC candidate -- you know, this guy -- is still going for the win. Finally, one GOP congressional candidate thinks it's a-okay if we placed land mines on our border with Mexico.
While it's been hot and muggy out here, other parts of the country have not fared well in the last week. 20 people perished in severe flash flooding in Arkansas, and Oklahoma City received nearly a foot of water in short time.
Sarah, Sarah, Sarah -- taking a picture with another world leader doesn't make you a foreign policy guru. 2012, here we come!
Sweet Jesus! A well-known Ohio landmark was set ablaze by lightning. This is NOT an omen, you guys.
Are You Not Entertained?
Well it took them long enough -- Calista Flockhart and Harrison Ford finally tied the knot.
Oprah is a great boss, isn't she?
Queenie, as her most loyal readers know, is a rabid Top Chef fan. And guess what, folks? TOP CHEF DC IS HERE! (By the way... Padma Lakshmi, you CANNOT be dating David Spade. No. Nonono.)
Eugh...remember Balloon Boy? Turns out that young female sailor who needed a rescue (that required a boat and an A330) may have been part of her father's plan for some reality TV. We're still giving HER some props, but seriously, Dad?
Pat Robertson has some great advice for women to keep their husbands faithful.
One more reason to avoid the Bieber bowl-cut: this woman out drinkin' in Maryland was mistaken for the Biebs, causing cops to roll out and investigate. But who had the haircut first?!
Lieberman has proposed an Internet "kill switch," allowing the Prez to shut down the web if there's a natonal crisis. We're not even sure how to answer this, except to tell you that this isn't a new idea -- just a stupid one.
Can ChatRoulette clean up its reputation with penis-recognition software? Or is it destined to forever be "that site with all the penises?"
Yep... creepiest Tweet ever.
H/T to Queenie's favorite sneaky Repub TR informant (it's called bipartisanship, you guys!), who took one for the team: "These photos are SCREAMING for a caption contest."
We know Obama's lookin' to kick someone's ass over the spill, but Rep. Bob Etheridge, took it a bit too far with this "college student." He knows November is just around the corner, right? Also, Meg Whitman allegedly kept it real in the boardroom.
One of Congressman John Campbell's staffers put this story up on his official website. Pro Tip: Reading is fundamental!
People are scooping up those new iPhones like mad! If you haven't already done so, you're out of luck, at least in the near term. Remember, guys: owning Apple products isn't all it's cracked up to be. One more warning to our Apple fans: Arizona has been in the news for far more serious stuff, but this is too pitiful to pass up. If you behave yourself, you can check out the new Apple store that opened today in Georgetown.
Out on the Town
Don't forget! Celebrate Father's Day with your dear ones this weekend. Queenie will either be BBQ'ing or dragging her dad to the Air & Space Museum out in Dulles -- or maybe both (Dad, take note!).
Need some cool ideas? Take the whole family to the Father's Day Fling in MD; get your grub on at Old Ebbitt Grill's block party; check out an Italian street festival; or dance to some blues music in Virginia.
If you need to get your art fix this weekend (and you know we're all about that here at Turner Central), there's a TON of stuff to do. WaPo's Going Out Guides have a great round-up -- and don't forget the Digital Capital Week closing party and Wonder Emporium (best name ever!).
Need some A/C? Toy Story 3. Done.
Our friends at EDF have put together a beautiful video (set to Glee's version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" -- okay, guys, you got us) about the BP oil disaster. Take a look below, and check out the EDF-recommended Sky Truth, which is using digital mapping and remote sensing tech to show what's really happening in the Gulf and beyond.
Keep waving those flags (or playing those vuvuzelas), sports fans, and finish out this afternoon strong! If you're still not feeling motivated, here's something to cheer you up.
Until next week and as always,
Friday, June 11, 2010
Yes, Rep. Melancon -- we are ALL feeling very frustrated with the oil spill. Estimates about just how much oil has spilled into the Gulf are ranging from "a freaking lot" to "holy f$#%," and we're getting more frustrated by the minute. But even this environmental disaster may not be enough to coax Congress into listening to environmentalists.
So is President Obama finally getting into the zone? It's been 50 days since the gushing began and he finally wants to know whose ass he needs to kick. It's... about time? He can always take a lesson from Colbert. The world is also wondering how Admiral Thad Allen is holding up -- check him out on the weekend shows and let us know what you think. Sarah is clearly up-to-date on the spill because she wants the President to get involved, and, you know, give her a call for advice. Floridians are swinging the other way when it comes to off-shore drilling. Screw it... let's just bomb the thing.
We're predicting maybe just a few more minutes of fame (maybe infamy) for mystery candidate Alvin Green -- by the way, this is generating some of the best headlines EVER -- but then, what with this crazy news cycle and all the shenanigan-ing, who knows? This thing could last for a while.
While detaining suspected illegal immigrants, U.S. border patrol agents shot a 15-year-old Mexican to death along the border. This incident, tied with Arizona's law will certainly not help immigration reform (which is staying in the news thanks to candidates like Meg Whitman). Speaking of, is this law driving people out of the state?
The European Union and the IMF are joining forces to stave off further economic jitters by creating a $1 trillion bailout fund. Fears are rising that Spain and Portugal could follow Greece in requiring a bailout.
Luckily, World Cup fever has begun! Here's hoping for more trash talk like this between the US and UK Embassies. It's gonna be a GREAT season (and see below for the best spots to ogle some hot soccer players -- Queenie, of course, is just in it for love of the game). Keep track of the scores so far here.
The Week That Was
Another week and another round of primaries across the country this past Tuesday. Women were the big winners! Arkansas senator Blanche Lincoln held off a ferocious primary challenge from Bill Halter. Thank you, Bubba, because everyone predicted her defeat. The White House made a comment on the wasted cash and labor organizations are mad as hell. Harry Reid received a gift (yes?) in Tea Party-darling Sharron Angle's victory. Both Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, each with millions at their disposal, won their respective primaries. Meg gave a cheap shot for the press (literally), although Carly took the cheapest shot of all. California gold, indeed. But in South Carolina, where Nikki Haley trounced her closest opponent into a runoff, one Democrat won his primary with literally nothing! One last thing -- despite the hype, birther queen Orly Taitz didn't succeed in further embarrassing Cali.
Ah, that attempt at criticizing Kagan we mentioned happened -- a little weakly. Expect a little more as the documents keep rolling in.
Veteran WH journalist Helen Thomas announced her retirement after a controversial video surfaced over the weekend. What a tragic way to end such a distinguished career. There's now a serious battle to claim that front and center seat.
The war in Afghanistan became the longest war in American history, surpassing Vietnam.
Abby Sunderland, who was attempting to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world (and who has been garnering an admirable amount of press coverage while doing so) was temporarily lost at sea after her yacht was damaged in a storm. She's been found, and we are wowed by this strong young woman. Props, Abby! (PS: What have YOU accomplished today?)
Are You Not Entertained?
Is that Obama rapping? That is so '90s.
Someone snapped a picture of Keanu Reeves alone on a bench, and it's turned into the latest Photoshopped celebrity Internet meme: Sad Keanu. Cheer up, Neo!
Did Sarah Palin get a boob job? ...More of the world cares about this than we thought possible. And don't lie to Queenie OR yourself -- you totally clicked!
Are you a Mormon, lazy Christian, sports nut or rebellious woman? (Queenie happily claims the last, thanksverymuch!) Then you'd better watch out!
The ex-Prez has issued his "Inaugural Address" as FB President 4 Life. We're not sure if you care, but he already has almost 200,000 "fans" -- this is a flashback we never wanted.
It's no iPad (although that magical device IS the newest White House toy) -- Apple launched the newest version of the venerable iPhone this week. Steve had some tech difficulties but the fans obliged to his request. But so much for the good hype: we're back to security breaches.
Often, we're asked why we have an office in Omaha, NE. Well, kids, our Omaha office gave us the answer. And we quote: "Bet you didn't know Omaha was THIS thug!"
For many of us tech gurus, this is what some fear could happen to us.
Who loves Super Mario Bros. and stop-motion film? Turner Central does!
Apparently Twitter believes some folks inside the Washington bubble are having trouble doing the Tweet thing. Not us! Also, how not to be a Twitter "dork."
Brian McCrary was ticketed for speeding, and boy, was he mad -- but he got his revenge.
Out on the Town
It's Friday, and if you've had a week anything like Turner Central has, you're ready for a drink. Wine enthusiasts, please head to the National Building Museum for Toast of the Town. Jazz fans, high-five Queenie at Jazz in the Garden. And tech nerds, we KNOW the Digital Capital Week Opening Party is already on your Google calendar (free PBR? What kind of hipster-fest IS this?).
This may seem out of the ordinary for Queenie, but turns out she's a complete festival dork. Find her at the Potomac Celtic Festival this weekend buying some awesome leatherwork, cheering at rugby matches and chillin' with the rest of her Scotch/Irish peeps. If that's too far away for you, the National Harbor Food & Wine festival is right across the river.
However, sports fans know: this weekend is all about the World Cup. Watch the epic U.S./England match at the pool, in the middle of Dupont Circle, or in any number of bars across the DMV. Pro Tip: Remember to wear two shirts, so you don't get any public indecency charges after your fave team scores. Just trying to help, folks!
Enjoy those games, keep an eye on that mysterious candidate and come back next Friday for more.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Turn up the A/C, kick back and snark with us for a while, won't you?
Is this really doomsday for Obamaland? Pundits and wonks alike have been either triumphant or down in the dumps about the recent set of fiascos. But Gibbs is stubbornly insisting that they ain't dead yet. The Sestak story might be fading, but this new non-offer by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina is not something Obama wants on his plate, along with the BP debacle.
Unsurprisingly, markets fell after the jobs report was released today, but experts warned not to read too much into this or any other single report. But... people will anyway. When you've got charts like this one, it's hard not to.
The cap is on! But will it work? BP's "top kill" attempt to stop the gushing oil spill failed, after some confusion. The oil slick reached Mississippi and Alabama, and the "giant globs of shit" are making their way to the Sunshine State. Guess that 60 or 70 percent chance thing didn't turn out that well. At least their PR shop (and some of DC's PR shops too!) know how to stage a good photo-op, and they should take comfort from one Louisiana senator. Considering the oil company's track record of success in this disaster, we figure it won't be until August (or much later, according to one investor) when this thing might be contained. And then we'll truly be able to see the immediate impact of the spill on the environment and local residents.
The Elena Kagan docs are out. Let the out of context accusations begin!
Tensions are rising in the global community after Israeli troops raided a flotilla of boats headed for Gaza. Journalists are having trouble reporting the news. Meanwhile, the UN and NATO are calling for investigations. Israeli's prime minister canceled a previously planned visit to Washington this week to handle the situation.
The Week That Was
This past Tuesday, primaries were held in Alabama, Mississippi, and New Mexico. Rep. Arthur Davis lost his bid to become the first African-American governor of Alabama. Meanwhile, Democrat-turned-Republican Parker Griffith lost his seat. Join the party, Parker! Finally, New Mexico will elect its first female governor in November.
Illinois GOP senate candidate Mark Kirk followed in Richard Blumenthal's steps by misrepresenting an award received while serving the the Navy, and claiming service in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dude, wasn't your record good enough already? Also, Blumenthal's opponent had some trouble remembering what she majored in.
You know, this isn't the first time we've mentioned the PR people for the corn industry. They're back at it with a $1m campaign.
Those Texas lobbyists know how to reach their lawmakers posthaste!Nevada Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian shows us what the fiscal responsibility mantle is all about.
Holy crap, South Carolina! When you bring the crazy, you bring the crazy. Just... stop it with the slurs, would you?
After 40 (!!!) years of marriage, former Vice President Al Gore and Tipper called it quits. The next time Queenie saw Gore in the news was when he was talking about giving his slideshow again. Did you lose a little of the passion there, Al?
Are You Not Entertained?
D'oh! Woohoo! Indeed. Homer Simpson beat out the likes of Harry Potter and Buffy to become the greatest character created for television and film in the last 20 years.
Conan is still on tour, and his dance-off against Stephan Colbert and Jon Stewart had this Queen of Snark literally LOL-ing. And that doesn't happen often!
Make that SIR Patrick Stewart. Well deserved, Captain!
A follow-up on the M.I.A. story: she wins! Sort of. Hey, when you make the N.Y.T. issue a correction, you win on SOME level.
Paul McCartney was in town. Who needs bad news when you can sing Hey Jude with Barack?
R.I.P. Rue McClanahan.
Mark Zuckerberg melted into a tepid puddle of shame this week while facing down questions about FB's privacy issues. We recommend you fire your media trainer, STAT. Speaking of FB and puddles of shame, Dubya joined up -- talk about a complete turnaround on privacy!
Pro Tip: Don't check into Foursquare from Tiananmen Square, or this might happen.
The All Things Digital conference happened this week, and NPR took the time to present their more humorous side. Oh, and a new effing tote.
Michelle Obama and Harry Reid are now workout buddies, and the Bidens visit Sesame Street.
We've heard about this happening, but we never thought it was real: this woman TRUSTED Google with her walking directions and they clearly let her down. She can't possibly be held responsible for wandering onto a highway!
British Airways, still in the middle of a strike, made a terrible gaffe. We don't think the world's most wanted man is going to be flying anytime soon.
The latest viral video craze gives a bad name to drunk drivers everywhere... but makes a decent case for flying cars.
Out on the Town
If you're a DC-Metro native like Queenie, you may remember the demise of HFS -- the better alt-rock radio station in town. And you may have gone to a few HFStivals in your time, like Queenie. Well, then you might be as excited as Queenie to hear that HFStival is BACK -- with an old school line-up (Billy Idol, anyone?). Queenie will be starting her summer concert series off right with The National on Sunday.
The Capitol Pride Festival kicks off this weekend, and so does the Capital Jazz Festival. If you're more into beer, we've got that covered too. What's that? Still hungry? BBQ to the rescue!
Hanging out with the kiddies? Get your creativity on in Bethesda. Or let them have a night in the museum (minus the CGI T-Rex skeleton or Ben Stiller's questionable acting skills).
It was a short week (and a bit of a TR-lite) but it sure didn't feel like it. Enjoy your weekend to the max, and we'll see you next Friday!