Friday, May 13, 2011

5-13-11: Newt's Running for Real, Common Causes Trouble, and the Brits are in a Hangover

By the time you've read this, we're hoping your Friday the 13th has gone by without incident. We here at Turner Central endured a few rain drops and the startling clang of crashing equipment (?) outside the office. The news down south hasn't been welcome for the thousands fleeing from the swollen Mississippi River. Also, Osama bin Laden has yet to exit the news cycle.

Don't be sad, snark on!

Forecast

Social media maverick Newt Gingrich announced his run for president on the Twitter. The campaign is going national! He admits to making some mistakes in the past. Haha, if you clicked that link believing that you'd stumble across his, uh, other mistakes, don't feel ashamed. Newt will be scaling Mount Everest before he wins over social conservatives. One thing's for sure - he one-upped Mitt Romney by supporting individual TR newtfunnymandates at the federal level. Congrats on your coronation, Newt! Romney, meanwhile, delivered his awesome must-see speech about why ObamaCare is nothing like RomneyCare. Everyone except Mitt Romney agrees! Finally, we also found out that Mittens produced his own PowerPoint presentation - or so Politico claims.

Hey, everyone, Ron Paul is running for President, for the third time. His rationale is that, after listening for thirty years to his gobbledegook, Americans are finally warming up to him. Uh, yeah, whatever, Ron. Mitch Daniels is the reluctant candidate. Reluctant enough, however, to appear front-page on every political rag.

John Boehner is raising the rhetoric on the debt ceiling, again. The House GOP leadership is calling for spending cuts that match or exceed the amount permitted to raise debt limits. While Obama wants Senate Democrats to show a unified front on this issue, we're seeing them fracture elsewhere: tax breaks to Big Oil. Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid want (finally) to do away with those billion-dollar subsidies to the oil companies. This sounds like a great idea, but, as expected, some interests are blocking the way. Oil execs were on Capitol Hill Thursday pushing back hard. Come on Democrats, would you please think of the fat cats once in a while?

Obama took his comprehensive immigration reform message to the Lone Star State on Tuesday. While Obama called reform a "moral imperative," those on the Right are calling his speech in Texas purely political - just another attempt to shore up support in the Hispanic community. Perhaps he's just looking after his favorite fans. Obama underscored efforts over the last two years to improve border security and squeezed in a few shots at the GOP. Click here to read what Barry will do to take away YOUR job. To coincide with his Texas jaunt, Senate Democrats are urging passage of the DREAM Act. Our prediction: This will go nowhere. Absolutely nowhere.

We were about to close the week without a notable, scandalous political TR Cstreetstory, but thanks to the good people of the U.S. Senate Committee on Ethics, we present to you a treasure trove/sordid tale of all things Senator Ensign-related. The Committee released its own report Thursday concluding that the former Nevada Senator violated federal civil and criminal laws. The Committee voted unanimously to refer the matter to the Justice Department and Federal Election Committee. How's that for C-Street values?

While the world, erm, the media, is intently focused on bin Laden's death, unrest continues in Syria and Yemen. Reports emerge every day of Syrian forces shooting and killing protestors. The U.N. says at least 850 anti-government protestors may have been killed since March. Despite continued international pressure (whatever that means), Assad remains defiant, and his allies say the regime will fight to the end. NATO coalition members launched a series of airstrikes against Col. Gadaffi's compound in Tripoli. Rebel leaders were invited to meet at the White House today.

The Week That Was

This just in: Pakistan's government was/is neither incompetent, nor complicit with 'the enemy,' as Osama bin Laden lived inside his compound for years, viewing porn, apparently. A pair of suicide bombers killed at least 80 in Pakistan. The Pakistan Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attacks, which were in retaliation for bin Laden's death. Back home, Sen. James Inhofe would like the world to know that HE has seen the photos of the dead terrorist leader. Good for you, Senator! The news media is also TR memphisfloodingcalling for the release of the photos. Who in the general public is clamoring for their release? *Crickets.*

Residents of Louisiana and Mississippi remain on edge as water from the Mississippi River threatens to inundate many low-lying areas. Entire towns are evacuating in preparation for the worst, as taxpayers are footing a growing bill for insurance claims and levee system construction. You can't fight Mother Nature, peeps.

The U.S. Navy is backtracking after taking heat from conservative activists over a memo written that would permit same-sex marriages to take place at military chapels in states that allowed the marriages.

Former Sen. George Mitchell resigned as Special Envoy to the Middle East, two years after his appointment by President Obama. There's no word yet of his replacement.

Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl will not seek re-election next year. He's the sixth Democratic senator who will retire this cycle. We knew things were getting rough for 2012, but maybe Russ Feingold will save the day.

Officials from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund TR greekprotestsbegan talks with Greek officials about solving a worsening financial crisis. Thousands of Greek protestors took part in a day-long strike against government austerity measures.

Japan's crippled nuclear reactor did suffer a meltdown, according to Tokyo Electric Power Company. Hey, thanks for telling us, finally. Two months later, 15,000 are confirmed dead and more than 10,000 are listed as missing. We're still pulling for you, Japan.

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver are separating after 25 years of marriage. We hear the former couple is still on friendly terms. Terminated. (We just had to.)

Are You Not Entertained?

Rep. Aaron Schock really wanted to get into the "news" this week. Capitol Hill is abuzz with his fitness advocacy. Some of the folks in Illinois' 18th Congressional District aren't ecstatic about their rep's exposure. Meghan McCain also got the memo about stripping off the work clothes by starring in a skin cancer-related PSA. This has led to a scuffle with Glenn Beck. McCain, McCain, and now John McCain are tripping over themselves to take the Beckster down a notch. A little late there, Gramps.

Hey, folks, there's a new excuse for people receiving some nipping and tucking: medical reasons. People have been talking about the 'before and after' transformation of Bristol Palin. Well, more power to ya, honey. You've got a new reality show in the pipeline and apparently thousands TR madsarahof fans willing to tune in.

Sarah Palin is mad as hell about Common's performance at the White House. Her expertise in these matters is ALWAYS appreciated. Fellow conservative talking heads are up in arms over the rapper's invitation. Chill out, dudes.

As reported earlier, Oprah Winfrey is ending her show very soon. Who will end up being her last guests? We know advertisers will be shelling out big bucks to run 30-second commercials.

Ashton Kutcher is heading to the set of Two and a Half Men. Kutcher is replacing Charlie Sheen, who, thankfully, hasn't been in the news lately.

Jim Lehrer is leaving the anchor's desk at PBS's Newshour after 36 years. Farewell, sir.

Interweb Tomfoolery

Guys and gals, it's just an iPad. Things turned violent at one of Apple's stores in Beijing on release day of the iPad 2.

California has its own Alvin Greene running in the 36th Congressional District. Best of luck!

TR peanutbutterWake up, America. The Brits are beating us in yet another contest. Our friends on the other side of the Atlantic spend a total of five years in a hangover.

A slab formed by 2,000 jars worth of peanut butter is art, apparently. (Don't get any ideas). One man must pay up for damages.

Burson-Martseller, a global public relations firm, has a little public relations problem right now. According to leaked e-mails, one of its well-known clients, Facebook, had been seeking "counsel" as part of a larger strategy to disparage Google in the media. All it took was a little Googling to learn about an unsavory client list. Oops.

Superman renounced his citizenship a couple of weeks back. Now he's back, giving us a second chance.

Out on the Town

Graduation is in the air, and while many college students are returning home, there's still plenty to do in the District. Saint Sophia Cathedral's annual Spring Greek Festival promises to be a sure hit for those who savor authentic Greek food. Don't miss the dance, music and live band in the evenings.

Trek out to the National Harbor for the 2011 Wine and Food Festival. Hurry and get your tickets for Sunday, because Saturday is sold out. Beforehand, you can also enjoy some wine tasting and a tour at the Mount Vernon estate tonight. TR embassy row

Cafe Atlantico is preparing a seven-course meal in preparation for the upcoming Folklife Festival. Enjoy the flavors of Colombia for lunch or dinner or both!

The Embassy of Barbados is hosting a happy hour with rum punch, a buffet dinner, and a DJ.

International affairs buffs have the opportunity tomorrow to visit a number of embassies as part of the Around the World Embassy Tour.

The Kreeger Museum in Northwest is hosting a night of jazz and wine.

Billy Woodward and the Senders will be at the Black Cat on Sunday.

Take the Metro and enjoy a short walk to the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, taking place Saturday and Sunday. Live entertainment plus arts and craft. Fun!

Scorecard

These GOP presidential candidate have-beens are such a bore, but we're covering them because no one else has emerged. Time's running out, Republicans! At this rate, Obama will shake things up by picking Romney as his running mate, just to keep us interested.

Enjoy your weekend!

RoyalExecutioner

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