We're back, we're back! And... oh, man. Look at those numbers up there. Volume 5. Issue 1. Queenie remembers typing "Issue 1" LAST year, when she was freshly coronated and innocent... ah, memories... And now? Where are we in 2011? Not quite jaded, not quite frustrated, but a year of non-stop politickin' sure takes it out of a girl. We needed that break!
But now it's time to pull up those bootstraps, lords and ladies -- we're wading through the journalistic muck so we can bring you that high quality snark you've come to expect. Onward!
The new GOP House majority is off to a great, open, transparent, non-rule-breaking start with your tax dollars -- spending more than a million bucks to read the Constitution, repealing health care reform (sorry, California), blocking climate change legislation, disenfranchising D.C. and territorial voters, and bringing up a new birther bill! Oh, and Steve King is just plain trash-can-babies crazy, as always. For what it's worth, Obama and Senate Democrats have vowed to block any bills repealing health care reform, but the latest fight is over the debt limit -- read Geithner's letter to the Congress here.
Barack Obama and Bill O'Reilly, together, Superbowl Sunday. Hah, 'cause it's not like you wonks are busy caring about sports, right? By the by, who doesn't love a tribute to Reagan during the 'Bowl... we KNEW there was a reason we didn't care this year. Although there IS a Caps/Penguins game that day...
All politics is local (and reminiscent of the late '90s, apparently): Obama picked William Daley, brother of Chicago mayor Richard Daley, as his chief of staff. Daley served as commerce secretary under Bill Clinton and is (this part is key -- wait, AND that whole lobbyist thing) an executive at J.P. Morgan Chase. He also brings on Jack Lew Gibbsy announced his departure as White House Press Secretary, which will take place sometime in February. That poor, tired man.
Obama also announced a few new faces for his economic team. This also comes on the heels of a rosier December jobs report that showed a slight improvement in the job market.
Is Michele Bachmann really considering a run against Obama in 2012? You betcha! Rudy might also throw his hat in the ring, again, for some reason or another. Only in Rudyland is Mitt Romney considered right-wing.
1,400 marines are shipping out to Afghanistan for a temporary three-month rotation. The Pentagon says they will be building roads, for the time being. Also, The Guardian has a new piece detailing how American arms are ending up in the hands of terrorists in Iraq. And is China ahead of schedule with its stealth fighter technology? Maybe that's another reason Gates is rushing ahead with his proposed Pentagon budget.
Expect coverage of the Haiti anniversary to make the rounds next week -- some journalists are already ahead of the game.
People up north are in for another round of heavy snowfall. Are you ready, New Yorkers? We're sure D.C.'ers are ready -- we've been stiffed TWICE now. Where are the panicked government closings?!
The Week That Was
It's the new year and a whole bunch of new faces turned up for the 112th Congress, while two GOP'ers managed to miss their own swearings in. Our favorite bronzed Republican leader John Boehner became Speaker of the House, WITH the obligatory waterworks. He promises not be a Gingrich. While 173 of Nancy Pelosi's Democratic colleagues voted in her favor, 19 couldn't resist the temptation to NOT make a difference.
Window-dresser Joe Miller didn't make it to Washington, two months after the election. The Tea Party darling ended his legal challenges just as Lisa Murkowski was sworn in for another term. Yes, Joe, a 10,000 vote deficit means something! Also, Christine is still in legal doo-doo as her attorney says her campaign is prepared to re-submit financial reports to the FEC.
GOP House freshmen are already throwing big fundraising parties and it's not even a week into the new Congress. Remember, Tea Party voters, after reading this story, keep repeating to yourselves, "they're outsiders, yes, outsiders!" Because maybe it's true! Hah!
Helen Thomas emerged from a short retirement and is now working for a small Virginia newspaper.
We're paying attention to a little scandal that broke this week aboard the Big E. Captain Owen Honors is no longer in command of the aircraft carrier after raunchy videos were released by a Virginia newspaper. Uh, don't ask, don't tell? Speaking of scandals...
First it was dead birds in Arkansas, then millions of fish in the Chesapeake. It's raining birds in Sweden and Italy, too (kudos to Mediaite for the "Aflockalypse Now" pun). Don't worry, peeps, it's not 2012... yet.
Are You Not Entertained?
DID JOHN PROPOSE TO RIELLE?! Oh, who cares? Stop giving this face-time! Elizabeth JUST passed, you guys.
Jon Stewart has committed to pillorying poor John McCain for the rest of the year, after his performance throughout Congress' debate over DADT. Poor, poor, Gramps.
The story of Ted Williams (who?) is all over the place, thanks to the media. In all seriousness, it's a good story.
The Jersey Shore came back last night! ...None of you actually watch this, do you? Y'know, in fairness, we'll lay off with the Shore coverage -- it has become a little much, and Queenie's pretty sure she's the only one that watches anymore. Hah! JUST KIDDING.
New Starbucks logo. Queenie agrees with Best Week Ever on this one -- a brand SO recognizable (apparently) that they take their logo and make it less recognizable, on purpose. Hooray for marketing...
Facebook + Goldman Sachs? The firm's recent and press-heavy investment in FB has brought up some disclosure issues for Zuckerberg (yay, secret memos!), and the SEC is investigating. Oh, and apparently Sachs employees "don't know how to use Facebook." Right. Like we believe that for a second. Then again, Queenie HAS led some social media trainings that make her think it could be true...
Turns out Steve Jobs took in a $1 salary for 2010 as he has in the past. Of course, he still owns millions of shares in his company. And given that this new App Store crossed the 1 million download threshold in just a day... we'd say he's doing just fine.
Ah, once again, nerds are geeking out at CES -- playing with bubble cars and iPad arcades and Lady Gaga's Polaroid sunglasses or something.
Watch grandpa Joe Biden give some sage advice to the (bewildered?) children of senators.
Real mature, Senate Press Gallery.
Historians found evidence that a lone dog named Jackie so infuriated the Nazis during World War II that they attempted to ruin the life of his owner. Pathetic.
Out on the Town
The holidays were exhausting, weren't they? Seems like a good weekend to take a breather -- you know, nap 'til noon, hit up the spa, that kind of thing. And it seems like as good a time as any to make your 2011 plans -- WaPo has a lovely planner for the next two months to help you get started. (Two words: MONSTER JAM.)
If you still have to get your dance on, there are a couple of places where you might find Queenie: first, it's Non Stop Bhangra night at Artisphere this Saturday, and they're even giving lessons. Second is Nouveau Riche at U Street Music Hall, a certified dance party if we've ever heard of one.
In the "keeping it weird" category, there's Elvis's Birthday Fight Club at the Warehouse Theater. Five rounds of boxing and burlesque (Abe Lincoln vs. Sarah Palin?) for just $15. You probably won't find Queenie at this one, though.
There's also... bull riding? The Professional Bull Riders Fairfax Invitational (sounds so fancy, huh?) comes to the Patriot Center at Queenie's alma mater. Nothin' like a good old rodeo! And, also in Fairfax, the US Navy Concert Band performs tonight. (Queenie, as a Navy brat, is obligated to plug this.) Also, tonight and Sunday are your last chance to catch "A Girl's Guide to Washington Politics." Finally, two DC-area go-to's: the Capitol Steps and the Caps!
Mwah, mwah... we missed you, too! We hope the holidays were happy ones and that January is off to a fantabulous, busy start. What are your predictions for the new year?
Until next week!