Friday, January 28, 2011

1-28-11: Healthcare Flimflammery, Abstinence Expertise and White House Musical Chairs

OmiGAWD, another snow-tastrophe! This guy, who the WaPo Style section has fallen head over ice cream cone for, exemplified the general attitude during the snowstorm yesterday.

Much like that guy, Queenie skipped the hubbub and went to happy hour (sometimes you just NEED a mojito!). From what she saw as she skied to the bar, however, it wasn't pretty. If you've got tragic tales of slushy, slippery, woebegone commutes, feel free to share them with us -- we're sure the rest of you would love another chance to commiserate.

To snark!

Forecast

Queenie's been rapt watching Al Jazeera's live coverage of Egypt this morning. Unrest continues to spread in the Middle East, and now EVERYONE is a foreign policy analyst. Protesters are calling for the ouster of Egypt's long-time president, Hosni Mubarak (Obama is, uh, staying mum -- wait a minute...). Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei is under house arrest. There are reports that Egyptian authorities have cut internet and phone service throughout most of the country. Violence also erupted in Lebanon as Sunni supporters of the former prime minister protested a possible government takeover by Hezbollah, and pink protesters in Yemen have joined in as well. Expect more from Wikileaks soon, and check out this brave BBC Arabic reporter, who filed his report while covered in his own blood from being beaten by police.

Back home, Senate Republicans are giddy about their day in the limelight, so they're going to do the whole "we'll repeal health reform thing" without the necessary votes. If Chuck says it's all a pile of swiss cheese, it's probably just a stunt! We can pray for a debate based on fact, but, yeah, probably not going to happen (Ed. Note- Teehee, "flimflammery!") At the FamiliesUSA conference today, Obama defended the bill -- and your granny. By the by, PLEASE don't ignore the attacks on reproductive rights currently being conducted across the country.

House GOP'ers are now seeking to curtail environmental regulations, so that all Americans might be able to breathe in nice, polluted air. Yippee! White House officials confirmed that Carol Browner, a senior adviser on energy and climate change, will be leaving the administration.

Speaking of leaving... sayonara, Gibbsy! Vice President Biden's current communications director, Jay Carney, will be taking over. No more southern charm? Here's the full list of staff shake-ups at the White House. Since it looks like Barack will be making more of an effort to connect with the people (golf with Barry, anyone?), we'll be watching to see if the WH will be a smidge more successful with their messaging.

Are the Koch brothers holding a secret California meeting for wealthy, anti-Obama types? Oh, don't look so surprised. Speaking of anti-Obama types, looks like everyone is afraid of Michelle B. and her Tea Party. And, finally, Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday celebration is next- WTF IS THIS.

We're sure you've been tracking the World Economic Forum all week long, from the tough talk to the jealous mistresses to the politically-motivated chair selection.

The Week That Was

The State of the Union has come and gone. Obama was all about the jobs, jobs, jobs (phew!). We saw a little bipartisanship from Democrats and Republicans who sat next to each other. Gabrielle Giffords was honored with an empty seat and some heroes from that tragic day were guests of the First Lady. Obama briefly covered health care -- we're not having a do-over, but he's willing to make a few changes. Several Democrats were blindsided by his promise to veto any bill that included earmarks. Energy and climate legislation may have a better chance of bipartisan support, as the president voiced his support for nuclear, clean coal and natural gas alternatives, but environmentalists aren't pleased. And (shocking news!) don't look for any success on filibuster reform, from both sides. Obama never mentioned gun control, but aides say the administration will push for stricter rules that would prevent unstable people, like the Tucson shooter, from getting their hands on assault weapons. Barry then made a quick trip to Wisconsin, to relive a little of that Sputnik era. That's a good thing, we swear. Thanks Paul Broun, for destroying any chance of civility.

Rahm Emanuel is back on the ballot after the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the ruling of a lower court, which booted Emanuel off the ballot for not meeting residency requirements. Early voting begins on Monday. Former Virginia Senator George Allen wants his seat back, announcing his candidacy earlier this week. You might remember him because of his macaca moment and, uh, this. Be like Delaware voters, Virginians, and don't disappoint us.

Antonin Scalia was an "honored guest" at a Michele Bachmann Tea Party Caucus gathering. A few Democrats joined in and, surprisingly, the event wasn't that partisan. What did these members learn? Earmarks aren't that bad, after all!

Keith Olbermann shocked everyone on Twitter EVER and maybe a few of his viewers at home when he abruptly left MSNBC Friday. As part of the deal, Keith will have to keep his mouth shut about the whole thing and stay off the air for a good part of the year. Much attention has also been paid to his Twitter changes. Some fans want him to make a run at Joe Lieberman's seat. Meanwhile, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is in final negotiations to join the cable channel.

This is a funny one: Three years ago Dennis Kucinich had a little food ouchie at the Longworth cafe and he just now decided to sue the poor folks over there. Ain't that the pits?

A terrorist attack on Moscow's largest airport left 35 dead and more than 150 wounded -- where was the coverage? Oh, wait, hey, lookit this.

Are You Not Entertained?

Good news for us, but maybe not so for Italy: Jersey Shore is heading abroad.

Tiger Woods scored a very successful 69 at the Farmers Insurance Open on Thursday. What? Why are you giggling?

Will Zuckerberg be on SNL this weekend, alongside Jesse Eisenberg (who played him in The Social Network)? Looks like Zuck is giving this whole sense-of-humor thing a shot.

If you're planning on watching the Super Bowl and hate Biebs, you may want to skip the commercials. We warned you.

Bristol Palin was all set to keynote Sexual Responsibility Week at Washington University, but it looks like her lack of abstinence expertise took her off the roster. Seriously -- we didn't even have to snark this one up, you guys.

Just when you think CNN can't sink any lower, Piers Morgan thought it would be a neat idea to invite the Kardashians on his show. Incredible, Piers, they have such relevancy today!

Interweb Tomfoolery

If you haven't already seen the trailer to the sequel to Armageddon, see it here. Oh wait, that's just T-Paw's hilariously cheesy campaign video to introduce himself to voters outside of someplace called Minnesota. That'll certainly work well alongside his new best-selling book! Also, the former (and now powerless) governor is asking Obama to apologize for something and, after finishing his post as Governor, celebrated at Panda Express. Yup, someone's definitely thinking he's moving upwards.

The March for Life took place this week, and someone decided that Elmo needed to take a stand.

This made the rounds earlier this week, and inspiring blogging-giant Tumblr to change their error message.

Ah, thank you, Internet -- just 12 hours after the SOTU, your Biden-Obama fist pump GIF was ready. And what was up with the salmon thing?

The Vatican on social media: it's a God-send.

Things not to do in Hawaii: get a Facebook tattoo with T-Pain.

Out on the Town

Happy Week-Before-the-Superbowl Week! According to Queenie's Republican Informant/Rabid Football Fan Friend, this is the weekend before the weekend (like the shirt before the shirt) where not much happens but people still want something to do. We've got you covered, but before you make plans, guarantee yourself a free Papa John's pizza if the Superbowl goes into overtime. Nice marketing move, Papa!

If you need to get some big-loud-Hulk-smash energy out, you can join Queenie for the Monster Jam on Saturday and also hit up the Washington Auto Show -- so much engine-revving glory! And you can get even MORE raw energy out by joining the Polar Bear Plunge in Annapolis (for a good cause!). Uh, Queenie won't be joining you for that one...

It's a good time for culture: the DC Shorts Film Festival kicks off on Friday, and catch some of the next big names in theater at the NEA New Play Development Festival. More next big names are at the Choreographers' Showcase in Maryland, and a great big culture mess is happening out in Virginia at Art Carnage (it sounds completely awesome). Finally, it's time for H Street's Karaoke Championship. Fame in the making?

Scorecard

New staffers, more 2012 speculation, jobs, jobs, jobsjobsjobs... and the beat goes on.

Stay warm, stay safe... stay snarky.

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