Friday, January 27, 2012

1-27-12: Barack Obama is America's Worst Comedian

It's been a quirky week in politics, if we do say so ourselves.  President Obama and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer were embroiled in a war of words, to the delight of the traveling press pool.  Our next president, Newt Gingrich, promises to lower taxes AND usher in a new era of space exploration - starting with a lunar base by 2020.  And finally, Rand Paul, well, he got into some trouble with those fascist TSA workers. Don't tread on me!

It's been one fun week!

The Week That Was

Well aren't you Americans a proud bunch.  On Tuesday, Professor Obama gave his annual State of the Union address to the children of this blessed nation, who have somehow managed to reach a reading comprehension level that rivals that of an eighth grader.  How far we've come!  Because the SOTU is supposed to be a VERY SERIOUS matter, our leader thought it would be a great idea to crack a joke about milk and oil.  Jason Chaffetz was not impressed. (We wouldn't be either if we were forced to sit through a Jazz game). On a less snarky note - yes, we do have those from time to time - we wish all the best for Gabrielle Giffords as she continues her rehabilitation.  We're also pulling for Mark Kirk after a medical scare earlier this week.

Mitt Romney's magic mittens may have breathed new life into his campaign, days after his disastrous second-place finish in South Carolina.  And adding to that, North Floridians say that Romney's too rich. So, what will it be, conservatives?  Is he a terrible guy for being relatively liberal or because he's uber wealthy from all of his offshore investments?   And don't you dare blame capitalism and freedom, because we know you love them just as much.  Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich didn't do himself any favors when he crashed and burned through Wolf Blitzer's entertainment zone.  Newt's performance was so bad that his own spokesman called the night a great one for...Rick Santorum.
This past Sunday was the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The fight for women's reproductive rights continues more than four decades after that decision. And now we've been told it's so bad in Oklahoma that one lawmaker introduced a bill banning the making and sale of products containing aborted human fetuses. There must be some nationwide epidemic that we're just not aware of.

Maryland and Washington states are moving closer to marriage equality.  The governors of both states have pledged to sign same-sex marriage bills into law once their respective legislatures  approve.  Washington appears closer to that goal.  But take a short flight to New Jersey and you'll find Chris Christie standing in the   TR seattleneedleway of equality.  Meanwhile, a handful of Minnesota parents are pressuring one school district to teach a little of that "ex-gay therapy" stuff in the classroom. No joke. And this is in Michele Bachmann's district!  We're hearing that Marcus is available for consultations now that Michele's presidential campaign is over.

2011 was a flat year for the folks on K Street.  While not doing the bidding of the American people (right!), a few lobby shops have taken up the noble work of defending the Egyptian government.  Cracking down on NGOs and pro-democracy organizations is all in a day's work.

This week has had its share of anniversaries, eh?  It's been a full year since the beginning of protests in Egypt that led to the "Arab Spring" which swept the region.  Thousands marched in Cairo to mark the date.  Protestors continue their calls for military rulers to relinquish their power almost a year after Hosni Mubarak was forced out.

Are You Not Entertained?

Thankfully, we missed Steven Tyler's rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner.  His singing will be one for the history books.  Maybe you tuned into the game at Candlestick, where Kristin Chenoweth fared much better.

Sorry to ruin your Friday, but have you ever tried roadkill?  Haha, we didn't think so, but it never hurts to try, like the hosts of the Today Show.

There are a lot of smart people in the world that do dumb things. That's from a co-star of Jersey Shore. "We are all smart in our own way," Sammi Giancola says.  Boy, we hope she's right about this, considering the ratings the show reaps every season.

The 2012 Oscar nominees are out.  Is it already that time of year again?

Kim Kardashian or perhaps one of her many assistants spends his or her day sifting through Google Alerts like any good PR person does.  One day, Google Alerts will be restricted to only news pieces, and then magically, Kim Kardashian will disappear.

Your Royal Executioner has been to Alcatraz, for um, all the right reasons.  It's very cold out in the Bay.  But jeez, some people take their teevee obsessions a little too far.

Interweb Tomfoolery

Chuck Grassley's Twitter account was hacked.  Instead of the normal gobbledegook we associate from good ol' Chuck's feed, we were surprised to find a few coherent sentences in praise of SOPA and PIPA, and his love of ice cream.

McDonald's wants to hear your stories about the quality food product it provides to millions everyday.  It turns out the people on Twitter had a different idea.  Now that's a PR fail.

Facebook slaves, your time is now up to switch over to the "new" Timeline feature.  You still have a few days to sanitize your page before big Zucker takes control of your life forever.

Before you erase that thought, we'd like to remind you that Google is doing a little consolidating as well.  The company will be unifying dozens of its services under one privacy policy, allowing it to share user information across those products.  You can't opt out.

The best criminals cover their tracks and go into hiding.  Not this guy, though.  Rodney Wayne Hill, who had been involved in a standoff with the police, went all Hollywood on us and just had to speak to reporters gathering outside him home.  That's a scene made for the movies.

Fridays with Abigail

My mother worries when I travel. (Or even when I don't, really.)  But now I no longer need to "send her a text when I land" or "call when I'm home safely."  Why? Introducing HashtagMom.  This is a service designed to lighten the load on us all, and I couldn't be more delighted about something this nerdy and useful.  The idea is simple: you sync it up with FourSquare and simply add the #mom hashtag to your Foursquare check-ins.  Once you do that, HashtagMom will send a text or call to the number you provide that will tell your mother you arrived safely.  And please, no one tell me you don't need this because you're over the age of X - mothers (and fathers!) don't care at all about things like that. But I'm sure you knew that already.

Out on the Town

How many of you folks Yelp your way across DC?  Are you a stereotypical Yelper?  Before you head out to wine, dine and review, ask yourself this: Do I look like a Yelper?
  • A Chinese New Year isn't complete without the food.   
  • BachFest, only at the Library of Congress.

For a split second, Newt Gingrich was the inevitable nominee to take on Barack Obama in the fall. Sorry, Newt, but it looks like Florida will be sending you back to your old "historian" job.  Mittens, meanwhile, continues to dig himself into a deeper hole with Americans who shamefully lack a bank account in the Cayman Islands.

Until next week,


Friday, January 20, 2012

1-20-12: Black Wednesday

President Obama approved his first 2012 campaign advertisement this week. The ad has plenty of critics, while others think the researchers should have done a better job at fact checking. It won't win over the Tea Party crowd, but for the independents, maybe a little Al Green will woo them over.

We can only hope...

The Week That Was

So it turns out that Rick Santorum won Iowa - not that it matters. A final count by the Iowa Republican Party shows Santorum beating creative tax swindler Mitt Romney by 34 votes. You win one, you lose one, Mittens. That's how these things work out. Also, just days before South Carolina, John McCain's 2008 opposition research encyclopedia just happened to drop for all to see. What could Romney's tax returns say that could possibly alienate him from his fellow 1% contributors? In other news, some guy named Jon Huntsman dropped out and enthusiastically endorsed his fellow RINO. No one cared about poor Jon, because good old Rick Perry - once seen as the savior of the GOP - called it quits. It seems America isn't ready for another bumbling Texan. As the Newtmentum builds, so do the sordid tales from Newt Gingrich's second wife, who claims, among other things, that the former Speaker wanted an open marriage. Republican Family Values.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, in all of his infinite wisdom, turned down $37 million of socialist federal funding that would have gone towards setting up the state's healthcare exchange. ObamaCare: bad! Restricting healthcare options: good! Hopefully, the Governor will come around, or maybe he'll even add his name to the more than one million Wisconsinites who want to boot him from Madison.

Occupy Wall Street is running a little low on cash these days. The cold weather may have something to do with that. More than half of their $700,000 fund has already been spent to cover costs in New York and cities across the country. Did you know that OWS has a $100,000 bail out fund? That won't be nearly enough to cover the next mega-bank implosion. A few hundred protestors marched on Congress - far short of the 10,000 people that organizers had hoped for. We're reminiscing now of the bygone era of the 2010 Tea Party lawn-chair festivals

That Barack Obama is at it again, this time standing up for the environment (or maybe it's because November is just around the corner?). The State Department rejected the Keystone XL pipeline extension that would have delivered crude oil from the Canadian oil sands to refineries in Texas. The decision was rushed, says the Administration. To Husker fans: your team may have cratered this season, but at least you know that your Congressman is stickin' up for his true constituents - big oil. There's money to be made!

Are you keeping up with all the details with the Costa Concordia? It's getting a little too reality teevee-ish for us. The cruise ship's captain is in a whole lot of trouble for abandoning ship before helping his passengers. Apparently, he conveniently tripped and landed in a lifeboat. That seems reasonable enough, right? Unfortunately, there exists audio of a pissed off Coast Guard officer ordering Francesco Schettino to get his behind back on board. And then there's the mystery lady he sat down for dinner with. Who orders dinner while your ship is sinking?

Are You Not Entertained?

Do not forget about next Tuesday's State of the Union address. Rumor is we won't be seeing a repeat of last year's silly bipartisan buddy stunt. Poor Joe Lieberman.

Betty White turned 90 years young this week and she received a personal birthday message from our Barry. He couldn't resist going Orly Taitz on Betty and demanded she produce a long form birth certificate. Those birthers can be so demanding!

TR pauladeendiabetesHey, y'all! Paula Deen is taking some heat in the kitchen after coming clean about her type-2 diabetes diagnosis. What's really angering the internet people is that her announcement coincides with her endorsement of a pharmaceutical company's product. Some of her critics have been downright nasty.

Jerry Springer and Gretchen Carlson. Now that's entertainment. Thank you again, Fox "News."

Oh, we're not letting CNN off the hook for this one: Magic wall expert John King became Newt Gingrich's latest target for opening up last night's debate with question about his ex. David Gergen says the exchange was one of the most explosive in debate history. Coming from Mr. Gergen, that's saying something.

Interweb Tomfoolery

High school scholars everywhere became aimless Wednesday as Wikipedia and other popular websites went offline in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Thankfully, the House Judiciary Committee has delayed consideration of the bill. SOPA's sister bill in the Senate, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), has also been set aside. Many esteemed members of Congress shifted their positions. We wonder why.

A new study by the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management indicates that men who perceive a scarcity of women in a population end up saving less and borrowing more. Researchers say it all boils down to competition. What do you think about this conclusion, loyal readers?

Seattle received plenty of snow this week and as imagined residents had plenty of fun on the streets. Well, except one lady. She ruined the shot! At least crows in Russia have no such qualms.

Normally, parents consider "Take Your Child to Work Day" as one of the happier moments in their often stress-filled daily schedule. So that's why one Illinois mother and her boyfriend went a step further and robbed a bank. Hey, they needed a lookout.

Fridays with Abigail

For those who don't know me, I might as well confess up front that I'm a data nerd.  So for me, Facebook Insights is a goldmine, especially the newer "People Talking About This" feature. "Likes" are an important measurement for your brand or campaign, but the real test of whether a community is going to come out for you is in their level of engagement.  Engagement as tracked by this feature means anyone who has had a relationship with your page in the past 7 days, either by sharing one of your posts, commenting, liking, responding to a poll, RSVPing for an event, or recommending your page to others.  On your Insights page, you can also see what the increase or decrease in engagement has been compared to previous weeks.  Facebook can be a lot of fun for sharing photos of your events, but if you are using it strategically, you'll be able to determine factually whether you're really exciting your community in a sustainable way.

Out on the Town

One of these days we'll get some measurable amount of snow. Until then, enjoy your weekend:

  • K-Holes, The Gumbas, DJ Kid Congo Powers & DJ Baby Alcatraz, M.C. Majestic Ape tonight at Comet Ping Pong 

Two down in a week! That has to be a record and gives us a much needed break from this monotonous primary season. South Carolinians head to the ballot box tomorrow. Newt has been trending upwards since last week, but that was before his ex broke all of his little toys and his dream of occupying the White House. Bah ha ha!

Until next week, y'all,


Friday, January 13, 2012

1-13-12: Chris Christie is a Donut Burglar

Snow! DC peeps experienced a single day of the white stuff, but levels were nowhere near enough for a snowball fight in Dupont or a government shutdown (we'll leave that to the professional politicians). We don't know about you, but we're praying for a little more snowflakes here at Turner Central.

Let's get on with the news...

The Week That Was

Record-breaking pink-slipper Mitt Romney couldn't be happier! After spending five years running for President in New Hampshire, the ultimate insider candidate couldn't top 40% in the nation's first primary. The Santorum Surge is no more (must have been that communist thing) and the Ron Paul fan-bots are slobbering over TR ronpaulwintheir candidate's second-place finish just before their back-to-earth crash in South Carolina. Finally, despite a respectably-sized victory for Senor Romney, nobody dares drop out before next week's South Carolina fiesta.

White House Chief of Staff William Daley is headed for the exit. You might remember a few months back when Daley relinquished some of his duties to another senior staffer. Environmentalists and EPA supporters aren't shedding any tears over his departure. The JP Morgan sign hanging from the White House portico will be replaced with a shiny Citigroup one. Congratulations, Jacob!

Last year was a daunting one for our firefighters, fighting wildfires that scorched hundreds of thousands of acres, particularly in the Southwest. Now just wait till you read through this little gem: since 2003, a cadre of mostly Republican Senate staffers employed by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee have been cooling off via an office pool, betting on acreage burned each year. Hawt stuff! How can we get in on the action?

Two years have passed since the devastating Haitian earthquake. Despite an initial outpouring of international support, many Haitians continue to live in squalor because of, um, an accounting slip up? NGOs and the private sector are stepping up to help stabilize the economy.

Do you hear that familiar drum beat in the distance? The Pentagon confirmed that a second US carrier battle group is heading for the Persian Gulf region. Military officials would like to make it absolutely clear that this deployment has NOTHING to do with increased Iranian activity. So, which entity will now admit to icing the latest Iranian nuclear scientist?

And you would think that this would be it for the "good news from overseas" category. Haha, sorry to burst your bubble! A few Marines decided to ruin America's reputation abroad (even further) by doing their business on three Afghan corpses. Classy. A thorough investigation is underway and it appears that all four marines depicted in the video have been identified.

Are You Not Entertained?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sat down with Oprah (you can watch his appearance this Sunday) to talk about family, politics, and food. Keep your donuts inside, foodies, Chris Christie is in town!

Do you miss Pat Buchanan? We don't, but we find it odd that MSNBC is still in a knot about whether to keep the conservative commentator on their payroll. Mmm...shilling one's book which includes racial overtones or a gig on MSNBC? That's a tough decision there.

Marvin E. Quasniki is your next president. Maybe he'll end up on the same ticket with Stephen Colbert. We hear it can get quite dirty in South Carolina.

Snoop Dogg was arrested over the weekend for being in possession of marijuana. While the rapper has a cannabis prescription in California, possessing the stuff in the Wild West is a definite no-no. It's apparently just a coincidence that Willy Nelson was busted for the same reason in the same town of Sierra Blanca. 

Watch that gas bag loudmouth Homer Simpson overtake Glenn Beck's ratings here. At least we know we won't catch Homer in bed with a box of Twinkies

Interweb Tomfoolery

You can be famous in Hollywood, but it'll cost you on Twitter. According to Ad Age, advertisers must spend at least $15,000 over three months to qualify for verification. This is a true letdown for all the tweeting impersonators.

Oh, no! Hostess has filed for bankruptcy - the second time in the last decade. Health-conscious Americans are to blame for the company's shrinking bottom line. What a shame. Hostess bakes 500 million Twinkies each year. Where do you think they all end up?

This is so not funny, but many people on the Internets have obviously gotten a laugh out of a stumble witnessed by the Google street van. Don't be ashamed if this has happened to you.

America is the land of innovation. At least that's the phrase included in every political candidate's stump speech. Introducing the spnKiX! Now everyone who is too lazy to walk has a reason to believe in miracles.

It's not the crime (drunk driving) that sets this criminal apart. It's the mugshot. You're a celebrity now, Mr. Bibbs.

Fridays with Abigail

It's a little strange to think about going back to a product that used to be cutting-edge, but then got replaced by its cooler, hipper cousin. And yet, the mega search engine Google, which it seems hardly possible to live without, seems to be doing everything it can to hate on its fans and encourage them to try Bing or even go back to Altavista (ah ... the days of yore). Google Search recently launched Search Plus Your World, a feature designed to show you not just the most relevant information on the web, but the most relevant information to you. This sounds well and good, until you realize that Google's way of determining this is to prioritize anything in your Google+ circles and send them to the top of your search results. Considering how few people are using Google+, one can see that this is the latest of Google's desperate attempts to appear relevant in the wake of Facebook and Twitter. Techies are annoyed at how difficult it is now to find actually relevant information on the web, and some people are proclaiming the end of Google as we know it. We at Turner won't be making judgments too quickly, mostly because we've already bookmarked the websites that show pictures of a bunny with a pancake on its head. All we'll say is, Be Advised: your Google search results ain't what they used to be.

Shameless Self-Promotion

On Wednesday, Project Manager Abigail Collazo facilitated a resume-writing workshop with students from the Public Leadership Education Network. No worries though, as soon as these leaders start making a name for themselves, we'll publicly bring out the snark to keep them in line. Abigail’s also got some fundraising advice for you courtesy of the New Organizing Institute’s “Tip of the Day.” We promise she doesn’t really hate puppies.

If you care about abortion rights, check out Merle Hoffman at the National Press Club on Tuesday.

Out on the Town

Could this be THE final going out guide? Just kidding, but be prepared to fork over a little more of your paycheck for that Metro fare. "Metro Forward" - whatever that means.
  • Or watch a MLK parade go by on the street of his namesake  
  • Funny man George Lopez performs at DAR Constitution Hall
  • Author Fariba Nawa discusses her life in Afghanistan and return

The race is tightening in South Carolina between Romney and Gingrich. Have South Carolinians finally forgiven the latter? We'll see what happens with that next weekend. In the meantime, enjoy your last few weeks (or months?) of calm before the next war in the Middle East. Gah.

See you next week,


Friday, January 6, 2012

1-6-12: Only Pat Robertson Knows Who Our Next President Will Be

Welcome back! Are you ready for a new year of endless snark and war blogging from the campaign front? Haha, like we'd give you a choice. From Iowa to New Hampshire, to South Carolina and beyond, we'll be there. Just remember to fill the 'fridge for the long journey ahead, or you'll end up like these poor souls.

All aboard!

The Week That Was

Iowa GOP caucus-goers put on quite a show for the news peeps Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. We now know that the Register was prepared. Mitt Romney pulled off a landslide victory--... Haha, only in Romneyland. The reality: Google celebrity Rick Santorum gave Mittens a run for his money with a possible first-place win. And this was all because of a friendly Facebooker. We kid. Meanwhile, Ron Paul - poor thing - came in third AND declared victory. Don't give up, Little Ron. An ungracious Newt Gingrich left the cornfields before the final results were tallied, slipping into the darkness on a second boom that went bust. Rick Perry surprised his staff, who are pretty much the only people he can surprise these days, by staying in the race. And let's give a warm round of applause to Minnesota, which will soon welcome home their dearest Michele Bachmann.

Stop the presses - Pat Robertson has the answer to the question that to this day eludes our best/most annoying loud-mouth pundits: Who will be our next President? God has revealed the victor to good old Pat, but the televangelist is keeping his lips sealed (except, of course, to tell us that he knows). Helpful hint from a mere mortal: it'll either be Obama or a guy with a (R) beside his name. We will now look no farther than Pat and the grand warlock of Mexico for all of our political news.

The US economy added 200,000 jobs in December, pushing the unemployment rate down to 8.5%. Consumer confidence also rose, and analysts say this good news isn't just a fluke. We sure hope it's not.

Obama made a quick trip to the Pentagon to back up his Defense Secretary at the unveiling of a new strategic plan that envisions a leaner fighting force amidst budget cuts through the next decade. Don't worry, though - we'll still be able to fight and win the next war future President Perry drags us in to. Yeehaw!
TR cordray
Not even a full week into the New Year and here we have our first major spat between Senate Republicans and the White House. Our esteemed leader bypassed Congress to place former Ohio AG Richard Cordray in charge of the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Republicans and their lackeys at the Chamber smell something fishy. You know, it's not like we needed protection from corporations, anyways.

The Taliban is moving forward with plans to open an office in Qatar - a sign that that the insurgents might be willing to achieve "an understanding with other nations" by diplomacy rather than guns. The Taliban still maintains that it will not negotiate with Afghan's president, Hamid Karzai. The family of an American soldier kidnapped more than two years ago has high hopes that talks may lead to a possible release.

Are You Not Entertained?

As expected, CNN's Iowa coverage left quite a number of us with cringes on our faces as we watched the network's oversimplified over-simplicity. Anderson took us behind the scenes of something called the 'cube.' This is apparently where CNN staffers "crunch the numbers" for us to digest. Try to forget about the screen showing an Associated Press logo. Whoops. Stephen Colbert also took a few whacks at CNN and its competitors.

Contrary to lamestream media reports, the great state of Iowa is not populated only by close-minded hillbillies. Seriously!

Rejected! Utter humiliation is the only thing we can think of to describe a marriage proposal gone wrong in front of thousands of basketball fans. This isn't a UCLA-only thing, right?

Martha Stewart's show has been canceled. The ratings are off and production costs have skyrocketed. Her company takes issue with the unnamed sources. Don't we all.

Interweb Tomfoolery

The world is ending. No, it's just Rupy joining the Twitter. We'll give him some credit, though - a few tweets are, shall we say, fair and balanced. But, what is this OCW Rupert speaks of?

You'd never think you'd see the day when the upper-middle class takes to the streets in anger. That is precisely what will happen when Starbucks and the New York Times empties your wallet.

Google denies that it paid bloggers to promote its Chrome web browser. Blame the ad agency, because that always works!

On second thought, we'll pass on that Mountain Dew. It's a good thing that our bodies can handle the acid intake!

The tale of an infatuated cop and a speeding ticket: Chris, a self-described "ugly bald Stickney cop" tried wooing a woman that he had earlier issued a speeding ticket to. Stalking never works. Now she's filed a lawsuit.

Fridays with Abigail

We'll be back next week!

Out on the Town

It's time to get back into the (DC) groove of things!

  • Last chance to freeze yourself in ICE  
  • Last chance to catch the Jersey Boys at the National Theater 

Will the Santorum Surge (teehee!) last? We're sorry to see Michele Bachmann leaving the stage, but she'll back in Washington providing much needed comedic relief. Now it's just Romney vs. every other REAL conservative voter. See you all in New Hampshire.

Enjoy your weekend,