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 few 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.
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
- Party Caribbean style at the Embassy of Barbados
- There's only a week left to enjoy music on the Ellipse
- King George and the Dragon perform at the JFK Center tomorrow night
- Get in your last-minute holiday shopping at the Downtown Market
- The Wizards play the 76ers tonight
- A Wizards fan fest follows tomorrow
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.
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,