Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12-21-11: Happy Holidays from Turner Central


School is out in Washington! Members of Congress dashed for the exits on Tuesday (like all hard-working Americans), leaving the payroll tax cut extension on table. The President is scheduled to take a little breather to recharge his batteries for the long stretch to November - after conducting some important business with Bo. 2011 is almost over, but we're absolutely certain 2012 will be a blast. And as always, we'll be here to cover it all.

To all of our loyal readers (and newcomers, too!): Enjoy your time off with friends and family, and we look forward to seeing you next year.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

-The Turner Strategies Team

Friday, December 16, 2011

12-16-11: Dick Cheney Wants Another War

Hooray! We made it. This edition of the TR will be the last full-fledged one of 2011. Believe it! While we'll be here next week to send you off (if you're not skipping town, already), Congress is looking to wrap things up - even if that means screwin' you over. Ah well, that's Washington for ya.

Moving on...

The Week That Was

Almost nine years ago the first troops crossed the border into Iraq and so began Operation Iraqi Freedom. Saddam is long gone, a new Iraqi government is in place, but stability is still no guarantee in the months and years ahead. And then there are the numbers: Nearly 4,500 US soldiers killed; tens, if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian lives lost; and a more than $800 billion price tag. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was in Baghdad to mark the official end of the war and President Obama welcomed the troops home at Fort Bragg, NC. We thank all the men and women in uniform who serve! And for all of you warmongers out there, Dick Cheney has the perfect prescription for the next war in the Middle East.

Here's a gift offered to Newt Gingrich in time for the holidays and the Iowa Caucuses: we'll pay you one million bucks to drop out of the presidential campaign. Can Team Turner chip in? It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that good old Newt will likely turn down. But he's signed on to something even better: a pledge to remain faithful to Calista, from this moment forward. We're not making this up, kiddos. Buck up Mitt, or you'll wind up with coal in your stocking.

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign is betting on proprietary technology to make sure independents and leaners aren't angered by the next campaign solicitation. This is important, because your Royal Executioner knows all too well about pesky robocalls from David Vitter. Eww. The Obama staff must also contend with some pretty swanky office space.

Congress signed off on the National Defense Authorization Act yesterday. Barry hinted at a veto, but has since backed off, to the chagrin of human rights groups. Three cheers for indefinite detention for all! Congressional leadership is still eying a short-term deal for extending the payroll tax cuts, unemployment insurance, and some Medicare reimbursements. Debate and votes are scheduled for next week.

New numbers out this week paint a dire picture for the American middle class (what's that, again?). 49.1 million live in poverty and an additional 97.3 million are considered poor - earning 100-199% of the federal poverty level. Get ready for the future, friends: sitting on grates and eating hobo beans under the overpasses of this great nation.

Santa made the rounds on Capitol Hill already. Senators participated in a bipartisan frugal show of love in a tradition started by Al Franken. Well-placed sources say that Senators easily stayed below the $10 max (and a few, such as Mary Landrieu, came away empty handed). What do you say about this proposal: fix all of our problems and we'll call it even.

Drones, drones, drones! America's been having a bit of trouble, as of late, with its unmanned surveillance drones. Iranian state television showed images of what is said to be a stealth vehicle that went off course from its mission peeking at Iranian nuclear sites and crashed near the Afghanistan-Iran border. Another drone made a splash-landing on the island of Seychelles. Iran is demanding an apology and is allegedly planning for military exercises in the Strait of Hormuz. This is a Dick Cheney Christmas come true.

Are You Not Entertained?

RIP, Christopher Hitchens.

Here come the Men in Black, again? Watch the trailer for the third installment here. Tom Cruise is also returning to theaters near you for another impossible mission. If you thought those franchises make you old, don't even think about looking at these cultural artifacts.

Salon's annual Hack List is out. We couldn't help but notice that a TR situationroomfew winners from this year have made honorable mentions in previous Turner Reports. Why didn't Chuck Todd make the cut?

The Obamas entertained at a holiday concert with the stars, sans Hollywood conservative types. Biebs was in attendance, of course. He's still in awe of the President when he's not busy on the phone with Charlie Sheen or using his get-out-of-jail-free card.

True American Patriots, who may also be your Facebook friends, are standing up with their wallets for Lowe's. The retail chain pulled its ads from the show American Muslims. Local politicians are calling for boycotts and Russell Simon is looking to fill the now empty airwaves.

Activision's latest Call of Duty video game reached $1 billion in sales in 16 days, defeating the former box-office champion, Avatar. Violence sells - what a revolutionary concept.

Interweb Tomfoolery

A world without Facebook? No way! A select few, and we do mean a few, have managed to live without the social media site. No one here at Turner Central can honestly say the same.

Messing with the kooks of the Westboro Baptist Church is always a pleasure. You folks do have TVs in the middle of nowhere, right?

Aww, so cute: a seal pup climbed through a cat door and made himself at home. Who's up for vacation in New Zealand? Not so cute - a 500 pound bear found sleeping in the basement by the cable guy. Oh, New Jersey.

Hedge funds are getting into the Twitter trend trade. According to the WSJ, there's tens of billions of dollars at stake. Don't RT or DM the wrong thing or you'll be blamed for the next great recession.

These two crooks will be spending the holidays in jail. After shoplifting DVDs and computer games, the two Madison men bragged about their catch. Too bad the phone was on.

Fridays With Abigail

Our very own social media guru, Abigail Collazo, is going to be chiming in from now on with some fancy advice for online communications, just in case you’ve heard of this thing called the Intertubes (trust us, it’ll be a big deal in the future). For today, she’s letting you know that Facebook’s Timeline feature is rolling out, and if you want to make edits and tailor exactly how much stalking it would take to find that old Halloween photo of you, be sure to take this easy step to install Timeline before the worldwide publishing on December 22. Have fun trolling through memory lane!

Out on the Town

For some of us, this will be the last weekend spent in Washington before the new year!
  • Our very own Abigail Collazo will be at Netroots New York co-leading trainings on Introduction to Twitter and Email Fundraising that Respects Your List. Drop by her sessions to exchange snark in person!
  • Snow Day is said to be the city's biggest bar crawl
Everything Else

Listen up, communications and social media types! A communications specialist position is available at UNITEHERE. They're looking for someone with a passion for grassroots advocacy and experience with message development and organizing. Fluency in Spanish and a background in digital media creation are pluses.

Scorecard

Congress has one more week left to do its magic and impress us all with compassionate acts of compromise. Hey, you never know. The Des Moines Register will be making its endorsement TOMORROW, so finally, we'll have some closure.

We'll see the remaining few of you next week,

RoyalExecutioner

Friday, December 9, 2011

12-9-11: Start Your Engines, Culture Warriors!

There's another reason why you should consider running for and winning a presidential campaign: you'll likely live longer than the average American. A University of Illinois researcher found that the stress of occupying the Oval Office doesn't necessarily translate into a shorter life-span (but you'll look a helluva lot older after four or eight years). Barack, you're still lookin' good.

To the rest of you: remember to eat your fruits and vegetables before a heavy dose of snark.

The Week That Was

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the head of the FDA to restrict the sale of emergency contraceptives. Specifically, women under the age of 17 will be required to produce a doctor's order for the pills. Women over 17 will still be permitted to purchase them without prescriptions. Sebelius' action is historical because it is the first time that a HHS secretary has publicly overruled the FDA. Barry said he had nothing to do with the Secretary's decision, but he supports it. This has the Left fuming and the Right calling the reversal an election stunt. Sigh. We'll never know the real reason.

Our thoughts are with the Virginia Tech community after Thursday's campus shooting. VT police officer Deriek Crouse, an Army veteran and father of five, was shot to death as he made a traffic stop on a vehicle unrelated to his assailant. Investigators suspect that a second person found dead may been the shooter.

Former politicos falling off the rails - that's dominated this week's news. Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, who was CEO of MF Global until $1.2 billion just, you know, disappeared into thin air, testified on Capitol Hill to say he was sorry. Meanwhile, Illinois continued its winning streak of convicted governors: Rod Blagojevich was handed a 14-year sentence for corruption, including charges that he tried to sell then-Senator Obama's seat. Blago can forget about that state pension, too.

To the (few?) Republicans who read this awful progressive commentary blog thingy: did you notice, by chance, a change in your latest Fox News robocall? Why, of course you did! The Herman Cain pizza train is no more. Newt has taken the lead in three out of the four earliest voting states while Mittens shakes in his boots as he watches his New Hampshire firewall evaporate. We hear that Newt is planning to staff up big time in the Granite State. Do you know of any 12-year olds looking for a leg up in politics?

Rick Santorum is a very bad man. Returning from a fact finding mission, we assume, the former Pennsylvania senator has concluded that "activity" between two members of the same sex will lead to the downfall of America. In similar news, Rick Perry is going after the gays and the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal in Iowa with a new ad. Iowans will have to make the connection between these "issues" and job creation, because we certainly don't see one.

Standard & Poor's is considering downgrading the credit ratings of France and Germany as well as placing 15 other Eurozone members under review for similar action. Meanwhile, the UK is the odd one out of European Union members because good old David Cameron wishes to protect his country's financial institutions (i.e. big banks) from burdensome regulations. Sound familiar? Should the Eurozone collapse, we can expect a steep recession at home. Happy holidays!

Remember the good old days of the Cold War? Russia's parliamentary elections were held earlier this week, and according to Western experts - and some grainy video footage - they were rife with fraud. Putin and plenty of others are sick and tired of Hillary Clinton's politicking (apparently she's playing to the Democratic Party base for some reason?). Anyways, we're certain that after a thoughtful, thorough and transparent investigation, everyone will be exonerated.

Are You Not Entertained?

Heads up: President Obama will appear on 60 minutes this Sunday. He'll discuss the economy, jobs and the budget with Steve Kroft. Tune in.

American Airlines can solve its dire financial situation by hiring Alec Baldwin as its new spokesperson. An "extremely rude" Baldwin was shown the door over an apparent obsession with a mobile phone game. New Yorkers won't be seeing Alec in the mayor's office any time soon.

Coverage of the war against capitalism continues over at Fox Business. Kermit the Frog and his liberal accomplices are conspiring to brainwash America's most vulnerable against environmentally-conscious oil barons. Damn those furry communists.

The cast and crew of Mythbusters have apologized to the many victims of a myth-busting gone wrong. A cantaloupe-sized cannonball tore through a two-story home, crossed a wide road and ended up totaling a mini-van. It's a good thing they have insurance.

Interweb Tomfoolery

Finding affordable and accessible parking in the city can be a job in itself these days. Thankfully, we have drivers like this guy standing up as our role models. Try it yourself! Just kidding. Also, you may be interested to hear that your teenager might be more interested in texting and tweeting rather than getting behind the wheel.
TR uscapitol
When does a week go by without a juicy tale involving Capitol Hill staffers? This week, three from Rep. Rick Larsen's office were fired when their tweets revealed disrespect toward the boss and getting tipsy on the job. Hey, people, it's not everyday that there's a circus on the Hill.

We're just as surprised as you were when we came across this story: Wal-Mart security and police apprehended Timothy Clark for shoplifting at a store that was hosting "Shop With A Cop" charity event. Apparently, the sight of 50 cops wasn't enough to deter this man.

While we're on the subject - let's have a look at petty theft at hotels. It's not just the soap or lotions anymore, and some CEO's admit to getting in on the action.

Out on the Town

Haven't figured out what you're going to do this weekend? Here are some suggestions:
  • Run an 8k through Washington dressed up for the holiday season
Scorecard

A furious attention-seeking Donald Trump might be canceling his ill-conceived debate/entertainment clown show as Newt and Rick Santorum are the only two candidates who have bothered to say yes. While you're celebrating the holidays with friends and family, these poor phonies will be duking it out for the honor of being smacked down by Barack Obama.

See you next week,

RoyalExecutioner

Friday, December 2, 2011

12-2-11: When All Else Fails, There's Still the Stock Photo

We hope you've recovered from that self-induced Thanksgiving food coma, because there's so much we need to cover. To start off: the unemployment dropped sharply to 8.6%. That's the lowest it's been since March 2009. No wonder Barry was all smiles as he lit the National Christmas Tree. With all the good news, there's always the bad - naturally. Pakistan is not happy with America following a NATO strike that killed 24 of its soldiers.

Before we continue, we must inform you about the opportunity of a lifetime: an internship right here at Turner Central. We're looking for someone to start in January. If you're interested or know of someone who is, please click here.

Now, let's move on to the IMPORTANT matters of the week.

The Week That Was

It's official! Newt Gingrich is the GOP presidential nominee, and that is scaring the crap out of GOP Reps. Florida Republicans are enamored to the two (three?)-time former Speaker as Herman Cain implodes, despite a newly formed Women for Cain fellowship. Great stock photo, BTW. The timing of this roll-out is purely coincidental. Mitt Romney remains on the sidelines (okay, so he's actually trying in Iowa now) after receiving some tough love from BFF Bret Baier. Newt won the endorsement of the New Hampshire Union Leader, which is a big deal, we hear. "Union, a union!" cried the confused Twitter teabaggers. In other news, Rick Perry received the coveted Joe Arpaio endorsement over the weekend. Does this make Rick a more appealing candidate?

A few weeks ago, President Obama caved to those filthy environmentalists who protested the extension of the Keystone XL pipeline. But now, Senate Republicans are moving forward with legislation to force Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to approve the project within two months, unless poor Barry can come up with an excuse. FYI: the legislation is called the "North American Security Act." Screw the environment as well as the health and safety of those living nearby though.

AMR Corp. filed for Chapter 11 protection on Tuesday. The parent company of American Airlines has lost $12 billion since 2001 and could lose an additional $1.1 billion this year. Have no fear, frequent flyers: your miles will still be honored as the company reorganizes (more layoffs, reduced amenities and service, etc.) to "achieve industry competitiveness." Your Royal Executioner just happens to hold a round-trip ticket for later this month. Cross your fingers!
TR worldaidsday
People around the world commemorated World AIDS Day. Obama marked the occasion with a proclamation and unveiled a new effort to combat the AIDS epidemic in the United States and abroad.

Barney Frank is retiring from Congress. Redistricting was one of his reasons for stepping down - that and it's no fun being in the minority party. While he's done some great work on financial and LGBT issues, not everyone is enthralled by his legacy. With Barney out of the way, insider trading just got hotter on the Hill!

Joe Biden was in Iraq for two days, mere weeks before the last American troops are scheduled to head home. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton concluded her trip to Myanmar. The Secretary also shared dinner with pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The Obama Administration is hoping gradual steps will lead to a thawing of diplomatic relations between the United States and Myanmar.

The UK shut down its embassy in Tehran after protestors stormed the compound. Michele Bachmann, beefing up her foreign policy credentials, thinks America should follow suit, thirty years after the fact. I don't know, Michele, you've got some huge shoes to fill if you want to succeed Hillary Clinton.

Are You Not Entertained?

Who are the year's most irrelevant, sorry, we meant influential people, according to Barbara Walters? Biebs didn't make the cut this year, but the Kardashians, Donald Trump and the sister of Kate Middleton ended up on the list. Thankfully, ABC News let us know that only people in entertainment, pop culture and sports were included. Some other entertainment rag had the audacity to name Tim Pawlenty as the least influential person alive. Shouldn't that honor be bestowed on another former governor?

Nando's has dropped its most recent ad depicting Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe as the "last dictator standing." The South African-based franchise is taking flak from Mugabe loyalists who called for a boycott.

Many films that will premiere at next year's Sundance Film Festival relate to the economic hardships faced by millions of Americans. We don't expect rave reviews or for that matter, any statement, from Jamie Dimon or Brian Moynihan.

For some reason, our favorite Fox News anchor, Megyn Kelly, sought the insight of a self-described psychic on the whereabouts of a missing child. Can someone tell us why psychics have the best track records?

Interweb Tomfoolery

San Francisco, the bastion of American liberalism, has gone too far. In its war against capitalism, Frank Luntz, and little children, the City by the Bay now bans Happy Meals that are accompanied by toys. McDonald's isn't flinching. They've found a little loophole that will allow parents to continue to bribe their kids with those plastic made-in-China wares.

A tattletale Twitter tale: Kansas Governor Sam Brownback apologized to a high schooler after one of his overzealous staffers called the principal's office to complain about a snarky tweet. Freedom is freedom, Sam.

Is Apple conspiring against the pro-choice movement? The iPhone4's voice-activated software, Siri, is reportedly experiencing fatal errors in response to reproductive health service inquiries. Siri goes a little too far with the snark. As expected, the pro-life people are overjoyed at this technological wonder.

Are you catching up with the news with the latest issue of Time Magazine? Oh, our mistake, no one bothers with that forgotten news medium anymore. Gosh, we are one soft bunch: Glenn Beck or the rise of China? Men vs. women on chores or learning more about Islam? Forget Time, we'll stick to CNN's in-depth coverage of the latest viral YouTube video.

Out on the Town

Don't forget to bundle up when you're out on the town!
  • Bombino brings African music to the Black Cat.

Scorecard

Remember those former Newt Gingrich campaign staffers who jumped ship to join Team Perry? Haha. Best of luck to them. We don't expect Newt to hand them an olive branch anytime soon.

Until next week,

RoyalExecutioner