Friday, March 25, 2011

3-25-11: Intervention in Libya, O'Keefe Needs Your Buck, and the Cherry Blossoms are Here!

Spring is here -- but you've probably noticed it doesn't feel that way. Is the weather a sign, now that Barry's returned to Washington to duke it out with Congress over the budget and Libya? We're REALLY hoping his recent defeat at the mercy of an Oval Office door isn't a sign of what's to come.

Snarking right along...

Forecast

His anti-air capabilities crippled, a defiant Colonel Gaddafi is lashing out at Western forces for threatening his advance on rebel-held territories. France led the way, quickly followed by a barrage of U.S. and British sorties. Shooting down that rebel jet AFTER the U.N. resolution wasn't such a great idea, eh, Colonel? A deal has been reached to have NATO take control of the mission... but America is still left with a significant role. Dubya redux, anybody? The folks on the Hill are already grumbling about the legality of the latest U.S. intervention. Cue Joe Biden! We knew Dennis would have something to say. Finally, a Brazilian plastic surgeon says Gaddafi went under the knife.

Aftershocks continue to rattle Japan two weeks later. Sadly, we learned about the first American confirmed killed by the powerful earthquake in Japan. Taylor Andersen, of Richmond, VA, had been living overseas since 2008 and was a teacher. The FDA has banned Japanese food imports from localities around the crippled nuclear plant. The situation at the plant is nowhere near the official death toll, which has surpassed the 10,000 mark, and many more are still missing.

Secretaries Clinton and Gates are scheduled to be Sunday daytime besties on Meet the Press and Face the Nation. And, yes, Libya will be the topic of discussion. Both will also be busy next Wednesday briefing members of Congress.

Pressure is building on Senate Democrats to work out a compromise with Republicans on Social Security. Next week there may be a vote on "solutions" that include raising retirement age and scaling back benefits to the wealthiest seniors. Harry Reid is standing his ground, arguing that tampering with the program will endanger the elderly. In other fiscal news, conservatives are open to deep cuts to the Pentagon. Just to be clear to the American people -- they are NOT going soft on defense!
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T-Paw made his special announcement that he would indeed be the most boring GOP candidate on Facebook. Yawn. But wait! Michele Bachmann is "in it for 2012," as in she's still thinking about it, teehee! Please, please, run, sister! Sarah was in Israel for some reason. Maybe she believes she can win over all those Israelis who really live in Iowa. Newt keeps flip-flopping like there's no tomorrow, and Rand Paul is keeping us guessing on which Paul will end up on the ballot. The GOP primaries will undoubtedly provide us with endless entertainment -- get that popcorn ready!

Claire McCaskill is still in hot water for using taxpayer money for political travel -- a big no-no. The NRSC already has a website and ad up. Good hustle, you guys. The Missouri senator is up for re-election next year. Can she weather this turbulence? Haley Barbour is having some pre-campaign plane trouble, as well. Yeah, like that's ALL over the news.

The Week That Was

Obama wrapped up his three-country tour of South America, stopping over in Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador. He emphasized America's commitment to strengthen economic ties to the region by with mutual trade and increased exports, while creating jobs back home. Michelle received some flattering comments from Chile's president.

How could anyone possibly forget the second battle for health care reform? It's the one-year anniversary of "Obamacare," as detractors call it. Nancy Pelosi held a press conference to mark the occasion. Politicos took note of the heavy-hitters that weren't in attendance. Just a few scheduling issues, right? A year after the vote, one former Michigan congressman still attracts nasty looks at the airport.

Berlin and the world mourned the death of Knut, the 4-year old polar ice bear who died suddenly. Apparently the city's natural history museum has already begun the process of stuffing Knut for display. Many of his fans are disappointed (also, ew!).

For many, gaining employment has just been a gut-wrenchingexperience. However, if you've got some background in journalism and have a knack for politics and the legislative process, you might be in luck. Do we have the Michele Bachmanns and Steve Kings of the world to thank? You tell us, you politico-journo-genius, you!TR Okeefe

It's hard out there for a pimp, right, James O'Keefe? Things have come full circle -- now the conservative muckraker is $50k in debt and is asking for any and all donations to continue making "videos," if you get our drift. Quite the life, eh?

Turner Central peeps fly in and out of Reagan Intl. all the time. This week's tower controller incident has us now wondering (and praying) whenever we fly. The NTSB is investigating and the air traffic controller has been suspended.

Are You Not Entertained?

Legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor died in Los Angeles at the age of 79. At her request, she was late for her own funeral service. Rest in peace. In other milestone news, William Shatner turned 80.

Glenny's contract with the Fox News Channel expires at the end of the year and there's talk he'll jump ship and start his own channel. Sorry, dude, you're no Oprah (but maybe Michael Steele is). The TR chris brownonly people who would bother to follow the Beckster are the gold buyers and some laughable "university students."

A cry out for attention or simply a anger management issue? Chris Brown was displeased, to put it lightly, about Robin Roberts' line of questioning. Brown later apologized and Roberts has extended an invitation to reappear on GMA. Biebs is sticking by his duet partner.

Contrary to earlier rumors, CBS is not begging to have Charlie Sheen return to his now-canceled show. Charlie can remain the butt of jokes, though. ...Winning? (We had to.)

Interweb Tomfoolery

The wittle blue bird turns five years old on Monday. The first (non-automated) tweet is here. You think Lady Gaga serendaed the Twitter employees this week?

Apple bowed to pressure and dropped the so-called "gay-curing app." Took you long enough, Steve -- or whoever is running that place right now...
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Our Internet Overlord, Facebook, has reached a milestone. More than half of Americans 12 and older are addicted to the social networking site. Okay, Pawlenty -- your Facebook strategy makes a SMIDGE more sense now.

AT&T is set to buy T-Mobile for a whopping $39 billion. One less choice, but will customers have better service?

Twitalyze yourself! The handy tool is now very popular thanks to the New York Times coverage. Flacks, we highly recommend updating your Twitter strategy -- those lists of Top Twitter Influencers matter, you guys! Get in with one of them for a Retweet or two and you're golden.

OMG! FYI, the Oxford English Dictionary has added new initial-isms that are totes legit. LOL.

Despite cuts to NASA, the retirement of the space shuttle program, and a shift toward privatization, scientists over there are still itching to land on an asteroid by 2025. Yes we can, anyone?

Out on the Town

The cherry blossoms will be back in bloom real soon. Don't miss the National Cherry Blossom Festival opening ceremony or Family Day on Saturday.

For 10 bucks you can participate in Hillyer Art Space's first ever Swap Shop to trade with fellow swappers. Make sure the articles are in good shape!

TR DCcherryblossomsWant to do something a little nerdy, but still have the need for cocktails and music? The Newseum is hosting A Night at the Newseum after work today. Digest all the news and drinks at once! Oh, and don't forget to stop by at The Source for some dim-sum taste testing (yummmyyy).

Cake Dreams in Rockville is selling cupcakes for a great cause -- 100% of proceeds will American Red Cross efforts in Japan. (We almost threw in a "let them eat cake" joke here, but thought that might be a liiiittle tacky.)

The National Marathon is on Saturday. Learn a little bit more about the city you live in on the fly! Online pre-registration is closed, but they have a few bibs to sell on site.

If you work near the Capitol building, head over during your lunch break to enjoy the hilarious sights and sounds of yet ANOTHER Teabagger rally. We're kinda gettin' the feeling that they actually like this city!

Scorecard

So yeah, this week was Libya, Libya, Libya all the time, with a little disaster relief thrown in just to change up the pace. The Charlie Sheen noise piped down a bit, and the terrible jokes were replaced with people griping about how sick they are of Charlie Sheen. Okay! We get it! You're all way too cool for tiger blood! But you flacks know the real joke about this Sheen-craziness... behind every Charlie Sheen is a BRILLIANT publicist.

Until next week!

Friday, March 18, 2011

3-18-11: Pulling for Japan, Sharron's New Angle, and a Fox News Geography Lesson

We're still digesting what's happening/happened in Japan, but we know the impact is having a lot of political and economic impact back home.

Don't worry, though, the snark continues.

Forecast

The news out of Japan gets worse with every passing day. The country observed a moment of silence as police say that more than 7,000 are confirmed dead and more than 10,000 are still missing. The nuclear power plant crisis has everyone on edge. Japanese engineers are talking about burying the reactors with sand and concrete as a last resort. State is offering Americans a lift out of the country, but they must be prepared to pay their own way. What a downer. Back home, Crescent City, CA appears to have suffered the most damage on the U.S. mainland. West Coast peeps, don't get too panicky--the radiation plume reached California today, but health officials says there's little risk of danger. Just don't take your queues from Ann Coulter. As it continues to monitor the situation, Germany announced plans to exit the nuclear power industry entirely by the 2030s. Meanwhile, U.S. nuclear energy lobbyists have been busy making the rounds on the Hill to prevent that sort of thing from happening in the United States and Holy Joe says take it slow on new nuclear facilities. Hey, money talks. Speaking of money, stock markets had a wild ride this week. And we should be paying attention, because Japan is the third largest economy in the world.

The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling for a cease-fire in Libya and the creation of a no-fly zone to prevent Col. Gaddafi's forces from bombarding rebels. The U.K. will likely play a major role in enforcing the no-fly zone. U.S. forces could participate in air strikes should Gadaffi violate the resolution. Obama just stated that military action is on the table, should the Libyan leader continue his crackdown.


In political news, our illustrious Speaker is having trouble corralling the Tea Party people to his side while negotiating a budget. How's that unity thing going for ya, John? Although...he might have more success showing America how much he hates NPR. Boehner's had to turn to his most trusted allies -- the Democrats -- to gather the necessary votes to keep the government running. Are you sorry you won in November?


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Gaffe-prone Michele Bachmann is ever closer to making a bid for the presidency. Watch out, Sarah, you've lost your luster. Haley Barbour is making sure he has the house in order before any announcement and Rick's sure to appeal to the anti-Sharia crowd. Nevada's funniest candidate, Sharron Angle, is looking to get back into the game. Union-busting governor Scott Walker is now being touted as presidential material. Oh, and The Donald has officially joined the ever-growing 2012 presidential candidate birther crowd. Ughh, what's happened to this country?


Barry added Ireland to his European itinerary. He made the special announcement as Ireland's new prime minister was in town to meet with business and congressional leaders. Nice work on the fountain, by the way. On the domestic front, Obama is moving ahead with gun control. The NRA will probably skip the White House's invitation. Shucks. Meanwhile, Joe Biden is apparently leading the search to replace FBI Director Robert Mueller, whose mandatory 10-year term is coming to an end. Also, will Google's CEO be the latest addition to Obama's cabinet?


The Week That Was


Soldiers from several Gulf nations entered the small island-nation Bahrain to "restore order" after weeks of unrest. Bahraini officials urged citizens to "cooperate completely" with the friendly entourage. A three-month state of emergency has also been declared. The media doing a super-duper job covering this unfolding story, right? Guys...? Hillary Clinton conducted the first post-Mubarak diplomatic mission to Egypt and met with new cabinet officials and called for democratic reform. She also made VERY clear that she's not staying in the administration should Obama win re-election. And no, don't get any other ideas.

A Dane County circuit judge halted the controversial collective bargaining law in Wisconsin. Several Wisconsin GOP legislators were hanging around D.C. for a fundraiser (Koch-related?). A crowd of Wisconsin protesters also made the trek to our capital to show them they couldn't run away. Hah! The recall effort also appears on track. So much drama, and yet we just found out that every Republican's idol is in fact a lover of unions and collective bargaining. Oopsies.

Ladies, the GOP is still at it with H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, as it's called. There's a provision in there that the Tea Partiers should hate, because it deals with the IRS. Basically the IRS will be seeing if women who had an abortion adhered to the law, to make sure federal dollars only paid for the procedure in cases of rape or incest. How is this getting Americans back to work, Boehner? Don't forget about the unemployed!

The White House wasn't too happy with former Haitian President TR silvioberlusconiJean-Bertrand Aristide's return to the earthquake-ravaged country. They believe his sudden return after 7 years of exile is related to a run-off in Sunday's presidential election.

Silvio Berlusconi, who is due to stand trial next month for allegedly paying a minor for sex now says he's too old for all that promiscuous stuff. Haha, that's a great...lie.

It's official--the Browning model M1911 automatic pistol became the official gun of Utah. Utah is the first state to have an official firearm. Priorities these days.


Are You Not Entertained?


Missing a little Larry? The former Larry King Live host could soon be a contributor on the Daily Show. Somehow we don't see poor Larry as hip and funny. Also, do y'all remember that Indiana senator Evan Bayh, who retired because of the partisan atmosphere in the Senate? Well, he's about to show off his objective policy chops by becoming a Fox News pundit. Fair and balanced, indeed.

TR situationroastThe Situation BOMBED at The Donald's roast. We're a little more embarrassed for the ball of hair than Mr. Sorrentino. Who's this Situtation dude, you say? Find out, because not knowing could cost you on the SAT.

Biebs, it's too early for you. Anyways, his new love is taking the hate mail pretty badly.

Kudos, America! It turns out now unemployed Charlie Sheen would defeat fellow entertainer and reality-star Sarah Palin in a presidential campaign. No, really, that's a rather pitiful showing for the snowbilly grifter. Maybe she'll fare better in 2016!


Interweb Tomfoolery


The New York Times will be instituting its pay-wall "service" starting at the end of the month for U.S.-based readers. They say people like our precious Turner Report followers will still be able to read articles we link beyond the monthly quota. Great...we think. Or do what Juli TR FNCGeoWeiner did: read the headline and take a guess at what the ending will be!

Another WaPo reporter got caught plagiarizing.

Somehow Fox News producers always manage to screw up their geography lessons. No wonder many viewers come away from that channel with just the "facts."

While we're still in the mood for all things Irish: the Fake Irish Blessing.

Eventbrite says Facebook is more profitable than Twitter. Agree? Let's hope there's more to social media growth than that.

20,000 bouncy balls dropped from a helicopter. It's all in the name of science. Great t-shirt by the way, miss.

This guy had the right idea for soliciting donations for the Japanese.


Out on the Town


So you've recovered from the St. Patty's Day bar-hopping binge, but you're still looking to have a little "fun" over the next week? Oyamel is having free tequila tasting Monday through Thursday. You'll have to get there right after work, though. There's more wine to go around--if you can stomach a longer journey beyond city limits.

TR fullmoonGet fit (for free!) during DC Fit Week all next week. Sign up here for yoga, pilates, spinning, outdoor running, and more. We're thinking of doing some of that running, because its so nice outside!

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is in town tomorrow at the JFK Center. Any Schumann and Mozart fans?

Also, if you're not inebriated Saturday night, you might want to take a look at the sky and witness the largest full moon in 18 years.

Geeky insect lovers--Edward O. Wilson is at the Museum of National History tonight.

Take a break from March Madness, if you can. Soccer is back in season. D.C. United takes on Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium tomorrow.


Scorecard


A haunting prediction 20 years ago by author Michael Lewis, about a devastating earthquake in Japan having a global impact, appears to be ringing true. Despite the catastrophe there STILL exists unrest in the Middle East. Oh, well. We're hopeful for "good" news, somewhere. Please...

We'll see what next week holds in store.

Friday, March 11, 2011

3-11-11: Devastation in Japan, McCarthyism's in the Air, and Playing Sarah Palin

Scandal, scandal, scandal. We haven't talked much about local D.C. politics in recent weeks, but there's a lot (allegedly) going on around Mayor Gray's office. And that all tops off the whole fiasco over two SUVs.

The world is keeping us busy this week, so buckle up for some snark.

Forecast

The world is watching the latest reports from Japan after several incredibly powerful earthquakes have devastated the northern part of the island nation. The first quake registered 8.9 on the Richter scale and its epicenter was approximately 250 miles northeast of Tokyo. A resulting tsunami raced across the Pacific, but thankfully did not cause significant damage to coastal communities that had been on alert. Please consider helping out by donating to organizations such as the American Red Cross.

Barry held a press conference today to update us on American aid to Japan, Libya, and rising gasoline prices. One thing that stuck, especially to environmentalists, is Obama's mention of future oil exploration off the Atlantic coast and in Alaska. Um, did he just stir up the hornet's nest?

Scott Walker is claiming victory after Republicans in the Wisconsin senate voted on a separate non-spending bill to strip collective bargaining rights from public unions. He signed the bill into law today. Not surprisingly, thousands turned out to protest at the capitol. Wisconsin Democrats are vowing to recall those who supported the measure, including the governor. Also, could this really be all about Barry and 2012?

Media-type peeps are keeping the buzz alive for a possible 2012 TR trumpplaneDonald Trump campaign. Mmm, maybe that's what he wants... crafty! Meanwhile, other prospective candidates are NOT talking about jobs and the economy. No, rather "family values" candidates are focused on tamping down those pesky inquiries about adultery and multiple divorces. A truly historic start to the GOP primaries!

In keeping with that no jobs and economy theme, Politico is reporting that congressional Republicans are looking to fight the budget battle over social issues, on top of defending DOMA. Hooray! Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a bill that would include a 5.4% surcharge on people who have an annual income of more than a million bucks. A reasonable idea, but it probably won't go over well with the freshmen.

The Week That Was

France became the first country to recognize Libya's opposition council as a legitimate body. Hillary will be meeting with opposition leaders and State is sending an aid team to areas under control by rebels, who are in a perilous situation fighting a well-armed Gaddafi army. James Clapper may be right that Gaddafi stays, but he's in hot water with the White House and Congress. Whoops. Meanwhile, Obama's national security team has laid out a six-point plan to remove Gaddafi, without the use of no-fly zones.

TR johnensignSenate Republicans are airing a sigh of relief as one of their own, John Ensign, will not be seeking re-election. Ensign is likely VERY jealous that he couldn't follow in David Vitter's footsteps. We're hoping that make-up expert Sharron Angle will make another run, but hey, it's only a wish. Scotty wishes that video of him begging David Koch for money--at a dedication for a cancer research center, of all places--would simply disappear. Real classy, dude.

New York role-model Rep. Pete King opened his hearings on "Muslim American radicalization" Thursday. Critics claim the hearings have a hint of McCarthyism. Extra capitol police were on hand for security, and despite threats, the congressman is going to keep doing his thing, for whatever reason. But hey, supporting the IRA is a whole different matter, right? Meanwhile, Florida is the latest state where legislation is being considered to outlaw Sharia law. Mmm, maybe we at Turner Central are living in a different reality, but we don't quite get this whole threat of Sharia in the United States.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is replacing John Huntsman as the new U.S. Ambassador to TR discoveryChina. Don't worry, Barry, he won't be using his new position as a stepping stone for 2012. We swear.

Tuesday was International Women's Day 2011. 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of this important day. This year's theme was education and a pathway toward employment for women.

Discovery returned safely to the earth for the final time, marking the end of its 27 years of service. The shuttle's likely to headed to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

Are You Not Entertained?

Turns out CBS got the last laugh, for now. Charlie Sheen was promptly fired from his little perch at Two and a Half Men. Couldn't get that $3 million per episode gig, eh, Charlie? He's suing Warner Bros for "owed" money from the remaining canceled episodes. You know, Charlie, you wouldn't be in this situation, and screwing over the cast and crew, if you weren't so nuts.

TR bieberfansBieber fans got a little too rowdy for the police in Liverpool. The cops even threatened poor Biebs with arrest for "inciting" the riot atmosphere. So demanding, you Bielebers!

Game Change is coming to your television screen sometime in the near future. Julianne Moore has been cast to play the nightmare Gramps unleashed on America during the 2008 presidential campaign. We skipped the reality show, but this may be too good to pass up. Oh, and Michelle Malkin is hating on the project already. Shocker.

Interweb Tomfoolery

James O'Keefe's latest victim is NPR. A former executive was caught ranting against the Tea Party people with a pair of phony Muslim advocates. Doesn't anyone do background checks anymore? NPR's chief executive resigned in the wake of the video release. Also, former NPR contributor Juan Williams ripped his former employer.

Charlie Rangel hosted his first ever bloggers' conference call. So fancy! Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer had another embarrassing pause. Kudos to the teleprompter...
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This week's edition of Twitter screw-ups features Chrysler. A PR contractor is out of the job after getting personal with Motor City drivers. Note to anyone running multiple Twitter accounts: ...you know what? If you can't handle running Twitter accounts, it might be time for a new career.


Highway truck crashes can be so beautiful. But, seriously, we hope no one was hurt. Road workers will have a lot to do now.

The iPad 2 is out today and some analysts predict the second generation iPad will outsell it's predecessor 2-1 in the first 24 hours. Apple stock, anyone?


Out on the Town


Have an artful sweet tooth? March 14 is the submission deadline for the Washington Post's Peeps Diorama Contest. Make something cute!


Aliens are invading L.A. Yes, if you're interesting in that sort of thing, and maybe haven't seen other similar movies, Battle: Los Angeles debuts today. Head over to Georgetown or where ever you prefer to see flicks on the silver screen.

TR indianfoodHave a craving for some Indian food? (Ed. note: ALWAYS.) The Rooftop Terrace & Bar at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is hosting the second session of A Taste of India on Saturday. Learn about the food that you're stuffing your face with.

Hoops fans -- the Wizards are going up against the Clippers at the Verizon Center this weekend. Or, if you prefer something more intense, come down to Queenie's alma mater for some boxing.

Spyda the DJ is coming to U Street. You may have heard Spyda's tunes out at the Waterfront or at any of the Caribbean carnivals.


Scorecard


Keep Japan in your thoughts. This is a tragedy that will stay in the news and our hearts. Back home, Wisconsin Democrats (and Michael Moore) are promising us observers a rough-and-tumble gambit in the weeks ahead.

Until next time,