Friday, February 11, 2011

2-11-11: Mubarak Takes a Hike, Everyone's Retiring, and Love is in the Air

Protesters erupted in jubilation with the news that Mubarak's thirty years of power had ended. What does this all mean to the thousands of new Middle Eastern foreign policy Twitter "experts?"

Well, we're certainly snark experts. Read on for some truth-telling!

Forecast

Obama is speaking about today's big news: Mubarak is no longer president of Egypt. The Egyptian army will be taking control. Biden called his resignation a "pivotal moment in history." On the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, lawmakers are worried about a power grab by the Muslim Brotherhood. Congress people are stampeding to let you know that they had a hand in this momentous occasion. Now, let the western punditry begin! Leon Panetta's CIA just had to come out and say that they predicted it. Uh, scratch that. Distraction, much? All you had to do was check this status page, Leon. Mubarak, at first, refused to step down, and promised to hand "some" power to his number two. That just further pissed off his opposition on the streets. A military-controlled Algeria is also preparing for protests.

Are y'all ready for some CPAC love? Momma Grizzlies are disappointed because their darling Sarah won't grace them with her presence -- is it because of the gays? Any-who, Ron Paul is again looking to "rig" the presidential straw poll, because his victory in 2010 meant so much! Sharron blathered about freedom this, freedom that; Michele ranted about socialism; and Raul, from the far land of Idaho, pandered to the birther crowd. Dick and Rummy were booed by some Ron Paul people. Donald Trump was there for some reason, too. Also, our friends over at Wonkette went undercover to discover the true meaning of the gathering. Sadly, the freak show comes to an end tomorrow with a keynote from the infamous Allen West. Not such a great start for 2012 GOP'ers. What a country we live in.

Obama's approval is on the uptick, but now centrist Democrats in danger in next year's election are seeking "independence" by going after the health care law and relaxing business and environmental regulations (because we don't need those, right?). BTW, Repubs AREN'T backtracking on the whole rape-definition outrage. Deeply disappointed! Heath Shuler is crying in a corner somewhere because Nancy won't give him and a significantly reduced Blue Dog caucus the attention he says they deserve. Don't worry, though, Republicans aren't looking that strong, either.

Hey, peeps, remember the John McCain from 2006, or 2004 -- or maybe 2000? Well, he's is talking about immigration reform again, and that it might have a chance of succeeding this year. Gramps is teaming up with his Senate BFF, Lindsey Graham. As you know, a lot of Tea Party govs. aren't pleased with "Obamacare," so they've done the most effective thing they can do and penned a letter to Kathleen Sebelius. And, in between all that news, the administration put forward plans for broadband internet expansion and a larger investment in high speed rail. Well, these initiatives involve spending, so good luck trying to sell them to the Tea Partiers.

Sources say the Koch brothers are gearing up like crazy to fund conservative organizations for 2012. $88 million seems a little low for the Koch's, eh?

The Week That Was

A wave of retirements this week -- not all for the right reasons. In the Senate, Jim Webb, who never really liked the whole "being a politician" thing, is leaving after a single term. His Arizona colleague, Jon Kyl is also retiring (but SO wants to be veep). California Rep. Jane Harman also resigned from Congress this week, to head up the Woodrow Wilson Center. But everyone had their eyes on already-former-Rep. Chris Lee, who resigned within hours of some leaked NSFW (at least, on the Hill?) Craigslist photos. Oh, and Gawker broke the news. Take that, Blitzer!

Boehner's been having trouble keeping the flock together. Tea Partiers defied his leadership team and voted against an extension to provisions of the Patriot Act. And Cantor's vote special vote to cut funding to the U.N. failed. All in all, a great week for the Republicans! Also on the Hill: Reid and Kerry aren't happy with Barry's plan to cut aid to the federal government's energy assistance program.

The International Monetary Fund is thinking about the possibility of replacing the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency. Supporters of the change say the American currency continues to be volatile, leading to sharp changes in commodity prices. The Treasury Department also released a report that outlines the Obama administration's plan to reform the housing finance market, hoping to tackle the issues that led to the ongoing mortgage crisis. Each proposal calls for different levels of federal government involvement, but each assumes for the elimination of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over five to seven years.

Can you believe it? It's been four years since a certain former Illinois senator launched his presidential campaign. So, go ahead, and watch it here, for old time's sake. On that note -- today was also Gibbsy's final day as White House Press Secretary. Tears. Politico sent him off in style.

The Super Bowl was just last week, right? Hopefully you remember some of the bestest commercials. Baby Darth Vader, (Meg Ryan lookalike), was unveiled to us. Well, it also looks like the NFL is running into some more trouble with "labor issues." The dispute between players and owners is over a $9 billion pie. Mmm. Pie.

The votes have been officially counted from last month's referendum in southern Sudan. Nearly 99% of the ballots were in favor of secession. Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir accepted the results (good move, dude!).

Are You Not Entertained?

Keith Olbermann is heading to Current TV after his dramatic fallout with MSNBC. Al Gore got into a little dust up with Keith's former employer.

Apparently, Lindsay never learned the true meaning of "borrowing." Lohan was charged with allegedly stealing a necklace worth $2,500. If she were anyone else, there might be jail involved, but we know how these things turn out in Hollywood.

According to the WaPo, a Grammy award isn't worth anything anymore. Usher and Biebs will be sharing the stage on Sunday, so maybe a few of you will be tuning in. Will he be sans hair? NPR did a wittle review for their fan base of teenage girls.

Charlie Sheen giving advice to college students? Haha. No.

Interweb Tomfoolery

AOL acquired Arianna's Huffington Post for $315 million. Will progressives be left behind? There's a call for current contributors to boycott.

Verizon's iPhone4 is finally here, but the launch didn't exactly meet expectations. Perhaps people are holding out for the fifth generation or the Microsoft-Nokia gamble.

How would you like some .love beyond Valentine's Day? You'd better come up with a a great reason, because there's about to be a big rush for space on the internets.

Hey, look! You too can now pre-order Bristol Palin's soon-to-be hit entitled, "Untitled Bristol Palin Memoir."

We REALLY don't think Mississippi understands the image they've managed to cultivate to the rest of the country. Meanwhile, a Tennessee state rep. credits previous work at Hooters for her first successful campaign. Who knew?

Crediting journalists is serious biz, peeps -- even if the subject of the story is a joke.

Out on the Town

Valentine's Day is Monday, and what better way to celebrate than the freezing your buns off for the Cupid's Undie Run? More than likely, you and your special someone will enjoy a dinner for two at one of Queenie's favorite Alexandria restaurants. Sweet tooths can also head over to the Valentine's Day mixer at Del Ray Artisans. Singles, don't fret -- there's always places to eat! AGAINN is hosting its annual anti-Valentine's Day weekend, if that suits your tastes.

Over the weekend, you can enjoy the Fifth Annual Virginia Wine & Food Showcase. It's a little farther out from the city, but maybe you can hitch a ride with a fellow wine and cheese lover? For something closer to home, head over to the The Grand Tasting at the Ronald Reagan Building. Enjoy a some Asian food at the Family Festival, or maybe you'd prefer some Latin culture and bites at the El Salvador consulate.

Feeling stuffed but still have some dollars burning a hole in your wallet? There's the DC Record Fair in Arlington. It's always nice to get an LP or two for your mom or dad (or hipster cousin).

Scorecard

Mubarak is gone, but what's next? Egypt is definitely staying around in the news. Meanwhile, we're still pouring over photos of the hilarious characters at CPAC.

See you next week!