Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi sure knows how to stir up the people (not, uh, in a great way), and he's not going to get much further alienating the rest of the world with his horribly violent crackdown. We're not even finished with February and the world's changed quite a bit.
On a side note, please welcome our new Turner Central intern, Jason, who became the latest victim of all things snarky.
Let's get to it...
Scott Walker's week hasn't gone too well, according to Google. He also received the punk treatment by a "David Koch." It's great to know where your priorities really are, guv'nah! The Wisconsin state assembly voted to pass a budget that includes a provision stripping bargaining rights for public-sector employees. And guess what, they pulled off their little trick at 1 in the morning, when Dems believed they had more time to debate. So democratic, you Republicans are! The legislation now heads for the state senate, where 14 Democrats are still on the run. Indiana's governor and GOP legislators caved a bit and dropped the anti-union bill from moving forward. The Indiana legislators that did flee are still on the run. Florida's Rick Scott indicated earlier that he does support collective bargaining, as long as union members are aware of the deals being made by their leaders.
Libya's Muammar Gaddafi refuses to step down, saying he would rather die a martyr. Eyewitnesses on the streets say hundreds have been killed in a crackdown ordered by the Libyan leader. How un-leader-like! The deadly turmoil hit home in Chicago, too, while the U.N. has condemned the violence against Libyan protesters. It appears Rummy had some foresight of the unrest. Uh, kind of. In Greece, thousands of workers are on strike, and protesting -- at times violently -- alongside students and pensioners over government cuts. It's difficult to predict what kind of Egypt will emerge in the coming months and years, but according to one professor, it won't turn into an Iran.
Mitt Romney keeps bringing up his business background (and now RomneyCare!) to drum up support for a more-than-likely-than-not presidential bid. The NY Post did a little (hit?) piece that may cloud that rosy picture. Mittens has yet to respond. In other 2012 news, John Thune has decided against running for the White House, and Newt's gonna have to answer that affair question, over and over again. Which reminds us -- social issues COULD make another appearance in 2012. Sigh. Oh, and Jimmy McMillan switched to the GOP, for some reason. Whatever.
Could it be that Gramps is changing his positions so rapidly because of a formerly secret psy-ops program run by an Army general? Apparently visiting members of Congress and other foreign VIPs were targeted. The goal was get 'em to support sending more troops and secure more funding for the war. This way... sirs. The military is "investigating." As you remember, Rolling Stone also brought us the Stanley McChrystal story. Now why can't Wolf Blitzer or John King break these stories anymore?
How could you not forget those testy town halls during the health care reform debate? People are still MAD AS HELL because of the spending, apparently. Allen West and his fellow Tea Partiers are going to be giving their fellow patriots the facts, right? That'll be the day! Once this Wisconsin thing blows over, we'll be back to budget talking in our nation's capitol, we're sure of it! Meanwhile, Georgia Rep. Paul Braun and one of his constituents are keeping the "civility" streak alive and strong.
The Week That Was
Obama has instructed his Justice Department to stop defending Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Boehner's not enthused about this, folks. The speaker says Barry should be focused on jobs and the budget, not on a "controversial issue that sharply divides the nation." Oh, hey, John, do you mean issues like, um, abortion? All is well in Fox Fantasy World, even though Megyn Kelly can't keep the facts straight. Baha. In similar news, Hawaii's governor signed into law the legalization of civil unions, and Maryland is making some progress, too. And finally, Obama's pick for social secretary will be the first man and first openly-gay person to hold the position. Save your "that's fabulous!" jokes for the haters, guys.
If we've learned one thing from the past two years, it's that you can't have a tea party without a few tea bags. Haha, we kid! Or do we? Anyways, Scotty's basically telling his former base that he's not one of them. How's that for betrayal? Sad news for mavericks out there -- Gramps is no longer with you, according to new ratings by the National Journal.
The Obamas will NOT be attending the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Now that's a royal snub. But Kanye somehow got his name on the invitation list. (We're sure Buckingham Palace saw his latest tweets).
Nobody's coming to the aid of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's home-state crusade against prostitution. Nevada has the worst unemployment rate in the country. Maybe we're on to something... Also, Oregon Rep. David Wu is taking heat for his previously reported bizarre behavior, which included some dress-up time as a tiger. Rawr!
Rahm Emanuel is the new mayor of Chicago, after defeating his rivals to amass more than 55% of the vote, preventing a run-off. Rahm will be in the mayor's office come May. And if you can believe it, Rahm's former foul-mouthed Twitter alter-ego started a NSFW tweeting feud with Michelle Malkin. She took the bait.
More than 100 were killed when an earthquake struck New Zealand Tuesday. Our thoughts are with those affected by the disaster.
Are You Not Entertained?
The Oscars are on Sunday. We'll get to the fun stuff to do later on, but who else could predict the winners better than Oscar, himself? (This video is amazing, kids!)
CBS has canned the remaining episodes of this season's Two and a Half Men. The show's cast and crew are no doubt thanking Charlie Sheen for his latest rant. But really, this really sucks for them.
The Bourne Legacy, the fourth installment, is looking for a new lead actor. See you next year, Bieber?
For those of you who still watch American Idol, the 24 semi-finalists have been chosen. This is season also marks the first time fans can vote through Facebook. Why the heck did something like that take so long?!
Oh, Biebs, you're so right about your adoring fans and the haircuts. You can do NO wrong.
We gotta admit, there are a ton of apps that seem totally useless, but here in D.C. and many other municipalities going crazy with speeding tickets, this app might be totally worth it.
Facebook has a delicate balancing-act: sticking to its policies, while protecting the identity of anonymous activists who helped out Egypt's president. The Daily Beast has a good take on this emerging role of the social media giant.
Space Shuttle Discovery blasted off for the last time Thursday. It had a special crew member aboard -- Robonaut 2, who will be working alongside fellow astronauts on the International Space Station. In related news, Detroit will be receiving its very own RoboCop statue -- though not for scientific tests.
Sarah refudiated Wonkette's investigative journalism on her Facebook whereabouts. Speaking of whereabouts, did you know she's headed to India to beef up her foreign policy expertise? (No pun intended.) So long, Lou!
You have got to see Queenie's own alma mater, George Mason University, rocking it out to Rage Against the Machine. Yes, we have hard rock flautists! What do YOU got?!
The crazy people of the Westboro Baptist Church had their website hacked, live. Take a looksie!
You'd think, with so many stories about the insider's take on Washington, that Politico would have great digs. Not the case. (Ed. Note: EEWW.)
Out on the Town
How does wine drinking AND walking sound to you? If you're answer is "great!," than this event is not to be missed. Crystal City is host to the first 1K Wine Walk this weekend. Stumble your way through the underground shops and stop to "hydrate" yourself with a selection of 30-40 wines during your little stroll. But hurry -- Saturday sold out fast, so they've extended this not-to-miss adventure into Sunday.
For all you movie lovers, the AMC Loews in Georgetown is featuring a 24-hour marathon of ten films nominated for Best Picture. For 50 bucks, that's a great deal. There's also an awards showcase at the National Archives. Don't forget to tune in for the real thing on Sunday. You've got a wide range of options other than staying at home: It's happy hour all night long at The Heights. You can catch it all on the big screen at Arlington's Cinema 'N' Drafthouse, or swing on over to Nellie's. Also, D.C.'s only Academy-sanctioned watch party is available, albeit a bit pricier, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
The Smoke 'N Stout has returned to Bourbon Steak. Enjoy your meal with a Moo Thunder Stout for $7. (Don't know what that means? Go and find out!)
At the Smithsonian: The Best of Smithsonian Magazine's Seventh Annual Photo Contest, and a look back at the Kennedys, from 50 years ago. You know you want it, wonks!
Wisconsin is NOT going away. And thanks to Indiana Dems., the whole union-bustin' Republicans storyline is keeping us on our toes. We're also keeping tabs on the spreading unrest in North Africa and the rest of the Middle East -- if you're not, you really should be.
Have an entertaining weekend and we'll see you next week!