The air is clearer today, with a little snark, of course.
Republican voters are still sour over the current slate of potential presidential candidates. But there's one guy who's making all the right moves (if the goal is simply to garner media attention). That person is...(drum roll please)... Donald Trump! Yes, pundits can't get enough of his off-the-cuff remarks and limitless pandering to the birther fringe. Word on the street is he's looking at Charlie Sheen as a possible running mate. Now that's a winning ticket!
Congress is on spring break, but there's sure to be fireworks in home districts, should members choose to host town halls. Paul Ryan took that gamble and faced some angry constituents who aren't too happy about tax cuts for the wealthy being paid for by the middle class. Meanwhile, a large number of your senators are off on "informational trips" in Asia. Now that's quite a working trip, if you ask us!
The budget battle continues with one side accusing the other of dragging the country down the financial drain. Oh wait, this is an everyday thing! Obama's also heading into the summer months with a likely battle with House Democrats over trade agreements. Labor and human rights organizations are criticizing deals with countries that have violated workers' rights and/or are mired in corruption. Speaking of labor, the Service Employees International Union is looking to replicate Wisconsin protest turnout by building a grassroots operation to take on anti-union legislation.
Obama authorized the use of predator drones in Libya. Well, so much for short-term, non-lethal intervention! Gramps was in the country to meet with rebel leaders. Meanwhile, family, friends and colleagues morn the loss of Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, who were killed covering a battle between rebel and government forces in Misrata, Libya. Our hearts go out to the victim's families. Unrest continues in Syria. Folks, just because the American public has lost interest, doesn't mean it's not still going on.
The Week That Was
Barry traveled west to California for a little of that fundraising thing. The President was the star attraction at several DNC events, but also managed to do a live Facebook town hall at the company's HQ in Palo Alto. There was a little teasing over fashion sense between Obama and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Although Obama is still a big draw for the Hollywood type, some stars have gone rogue with their disappointment. Don't fret, Dems. -- the real Obama says he understands your frustration...
One year ago the Deepwater Horizon exploded off the Louisiana coastline, killing 11 workers. Congress immediately enacted legislation in response to the crisis -- Oh, wait, it didn't. All that BP cash just might be to blame for the inaction. Also, in another PR blunder, BP is suing Halliburton and Transocean. That's certain to improve your rep, BP.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed two bills into law that would significantly reduce women's access to abortion services. One law will make it a felony for doctors to perform abortions after their patient reaches twenty weeks of pregnancy. The other will prohibit health insurance companies from covering elective abortions in standard policies. Oklahoma is just the latest example of a growing number of states passing anti-abortion laws.
Well, it took him long enough, but Sen. John Ensign finally, FINALLY had enough of those pesky investigations and announced his resignation today. As you may remember, Ensign admitted he had an affair with a member of his own staff two years ago. There's also the whole issue of his parents giving a "gift" to the husband of that staffer...and, well that's a whole different story. Anyway, Ensign's last day is May 3. Will a certain junior United States Senator from Louisiana respectfully follow him out the door?
The FAA and NTSB are looking into an incident earlier this week that forced Michelle Obama's plane to abort a landing at Andrews Air Force Base. Let's just say it had nothing to do with controllers sleeping (again!) on your dime.
Wowzers, it's hottt down in Texas. So far, wildfires have burned more than one million acres across the state, killing two firefighters. Gov. Rick Perry has issued an official proclamation calling for "Days of Prayers for Rain." Infamous Texas sheriff Joe Arpaio has a fun new website up, encouraging local citizens to vote on the best mugshots. Oh, Texas, where would we be without you!
Orange County, Ca. Republicans are in the news again. This time, a state committee member sent around an e-mail with a photo-shopped (of course) picture of President Obama with two monkeys. Her rather confusing interview isn't helping her case. Oh, and she's a birther, BTW.
Are You Not Entertained?
How unfair! Italian officials are demanding the cast and crew of Jersey Shore adhere to some pretty strict rules while in their country. One restriction: Snooki and The Situation won't be seen on film being served alcohol. This show is going to be a snore. We hear that Silvio Berlusconi's private villa is open for filming.
Paparazzi in Washington, D.C.? What's that you say? From Georgetown to the White House Correspondents' Dinner, celebrities are the target of a growing industry in the city. It's no longer just the politicians looking for the spotlight. In other celebrity news, authorities aren't answering questions related to Charlie Sheen's recent police escort into the city.
Apparently some people are not entertained, folks. Piers Morgan's ratings haven't been faring well. Maybe it's because his lineup has included world-renowned guests such as Kim Kardashian and Donald Trump. Do we really want to know "Who's on Piers Morgan Tonight?"
Uh, yes, we're kind of tired of this whole royal wedding hoopla. Alas, some outlets are devoting entire sections of their websites to the affair. Polls are showing great interest. Mmm, why weren't the good people at Turner Central asked? At least China is getting in on some of the action.
Terry Jones, a gun, a car, and a news studio -- yes, entertainment. God this guy is just looking for attention.
Wonkette's satirical coverage of political happenings has made it an icon among many of the D.C. Left. This week one of its editors created a firestorm after running a piece marking Trig Palin's birthday. Conservative tweeters are now calling for boycotts and Papa John's is about to reap some tidy profits in the days ahead.
Does Apple know where you were last summer? Congress wants answers -- and you know they mean business.
Cookie is the most famous penguin on YouTube. Awww, so cute. Another heartwarming animal story: A blind dog and a goose.
The internet cloud is such a great innovation, right? Well, not quite for several of Amazon's biggest customers, who experienced major disruptions in services this week.
Taco Bell wants an apology. The lawsuit claiming Taco Bell's meat wasn't 100% pure beef has been dropped voluntarily. The restaurant chain just had to rub it in their face for a last laugh.
Be careful about what you write in your e-mails, profs!
Los Angeles happens to be the home of a great tattoo artist, who happens to be a very dumb criminal.
Out on the Town
How would you like some free wine tasting in Alexandria? It's right off the Metro and, best of all, it's eco-friendly! Skip on over after work today. Meat eaters can hone their culinary skills at BLT Steak's two-and-a-half hour class plus four-course meal. This Saturday's class is "The Famed Pork Class Revisited."
What else is there to do this Sunday other than participate in an Easter egg hunt. Can't attend the White House Roll? No problem. There's also plenty of light food options around town. Don't miss a chocolate AND wine tasting at Biagio Fine Chocolate. It's free!
DC9 is hosting All You Can Eat for Kylie Minogue fans - $5 will get you in.
SweetWater Beer Week runs through this Saturday at the Black Squirrel. They'll be serving "food," too.
The Shakespeare Theatre Company presents King Lear from another point-of-view. The final show is Sunday.
Origem - Sounds From Brazil is coming to the National Museum of African Art. Enjoy some Brazilian Jazz. Then celebrate American jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald with a tribute at Blues Alley.
Hey Civil War buffs, the Navy Memorial is holding a symposium to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Memorabilia and artifacts will be on display. Arlington Cemetery is also marking the anniversary with a discussion around Robert E. Lee.
Because it's Earth Day, we encourage you to visit the Mom's Clean Air Force blog. The online project is the work of a network of mothers concerned about the health of the children (and adults) of today and tomorrow and who are committed to fighting the culprits of air pollution.
We're finally seeing the Obama campaign machine stretch its legs as Barry criss-crosses the country in search of donor cash. Don't forget everyone else, Mr. President! He's been laughed off as a joke, but is The Donald the real deal?
Until next week,