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  gifzette daily briefing

Combat Operations In Iraq End a Second Time, Gingrich Loses Coveted Gary Busey Endorsement

NEW YORK—A triumphant President Obama landed a Navy S-3B Viking on board the USS Lincoln yesterday to announce the end of maj— Hahaha siiiike. No for real though, the war is actually “over” now. Like, for real this time! It’s so “over” there’s no need at all for any scare quotes around the word “over.” None at all. Why do we keep doing that? It’s “over”! Read more on Combat Operations In Iraq End a Second Time, Gingrich Loses Coveted Gary Busey Endorsement…
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Melting Ice Caps To Kill Us; Rich Man Builds Space Rescue Plane Just In Time

NEW YORK—The eagerly awaited Time magazine Person of the Year award is out, and we just want to say what an honor it is to have received this award for an unprecedented second time. Time gave the nod this year to “The Protester,” i.e. us, the editors of The Gifzette, who attended a handful of Occupy Wall St. protests this year. We’re very excited to set this award on our mantle right next to the one we got in 2006 just for having a blog. Read more on Melting Ice Caps To Kill Us; Rich Man Builds Space Rescue Plane Just In Time…
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The Iraq War Is Sort of Over, Just In Time For Roger Ailes To Write a Book About How Awesome It Was

NEW YORK—The gloves are off at the head of the pack in the GOP primary, with Gingrich and Romney trading blows on the campaign trail yesterday. And things are getting fun! Romney called on Newt to return the $1.6 million the latter earned doing history for Freddie Mac, which: yes! But then? Newt responded by saying he’d entertain this if and only if “Governor Romney would like to give back all the money he’s earned bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years.” Which: also yes!! You guys just keep on being you, Newt Romney. Read more on The Iraq War Is Sort of Over, Just In Time For Roger Ailes To Write a Book About How Awesome It Was…
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Science Suddenly Inconvenient For Obama; Higgs Boson Leads Iowa Polls

NEW YORK—Have you been watching “Up” with Chris Hayes? You should be! It’s really, really wonderful. Though honestly kind of creepy? Because that man is smart. Freakishly so. As in: he does this weird thing where whenever one of his guests brings up some random new topic he’ll just recap it for everyone watching. Like, just off the top of his head? Without a teleprompter? And it’s crazy! Who let this man with a perfectly healthy frontal cortex on television?! It just makes no sense to us at all. But in any event, Sunday’s show featured a depressing reminder of the President’s remarks in 2009 that “it’s about letting scientists, like those who are here today, do their jobs free from manipulation or coercion and listening to what they tell us, even when it’s inconvenient, especially when it’s inconvenient,” two years before deciding it was too inconvenient teenage girls to have access to emergency contraception. Read more on Science Suddenly Inconvenient For Obama; Higgs Boson Leads Iowa Polls…
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Obama Defends Plan B Nonsense, Republicans Do Not Like This Whole ‘Consumer Protection’ Idea

NEW YORK—Virginia Tech was in everyone’s thoughts yesterday after a gunman shot and killed a police officer before taking his own life in a nearby parking lot. Virginia Tech’s Collegiate Times is “at a loss” over this “inexplicable shooting.” Their special edition is online here (PDF). President Obama formally endorsed HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s calamitous ruling on the Plan B emergency contraceptive. “I will say this,” he said, before saying that “as the father of two daughters: I think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine.” On the one hand we have to wonder if this means Tylenol will now require a doctor’s note for everyone under seventeen with a headache. But on the other, you know, when every conservative in the country already derides you as the Daddy in Chief because of some actually very sensible public health initiatives (not eating Big Macs, say), it’s probably not the best idea to make one of your biggest voting blocs (i.e. ladies) (and some gents!) feel kind of exactly the same way. Not hating, just saying, etc. (Nah, we’re totally hating.) Read more on Obama Defends Plan B Nonsense, Republicans Do Not Like This Whole ‘Consumer Protection’ Idea…
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Plan-B Access Denied by Incorrigible Twits, GOP Very Upset Obama Trying to Appoint Cabinet Secretary

For the first time in the 105-year history of the Food and Drug Administration an FDA directive has been publicly overruled by the department of Health and Human Services. About what? About teenagers doing it! That’s right, FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg released a statement yesterday declaring that Plan-B, an emergency contraceptive long known to anyone paying attention to be even safer than aspirin, should be available over the counter to people of all ages (read: all people doing it with other people). HHS director Kathleen Sebelius, however, swiftly responded and publicly vetoed Hamburg, declaring that the drug could only be sold over the counter to sexually active girls age seventeen and older. And for those under the age of seventeen? Well, they’re just going to have to get a doctor’s note. Read more on Plan-B Access Denied by Incorrigible Twits, GOP Very Upset Obama Trying to Appoint Cabinet Secretary…
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The Good News is Gay Rights are Human Rights, the Bad News is Mitt’s New Campaign Song is a Kid Rock Song

NEW YORK—It’s the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor today, a day that has indeed lived in infamy, providing us with our annual reminder that you can all probably take those “never forget” bumper stickers off your cars because human beings are actually pretty good at remembering terrible things that have happened to them, thank you very much. Read more on The Good News is Gay Rights are Human Rights, the Bad News is Mitt’s New Campaign Song is a Kid Rock Song…
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S&P Threatens to Downgrade Everyone, Donald Trump Still as Annoying as Ever

The S&P threatened to downgrade basically all of Europe yesterday, while news is breaking this morning of further downgrade threats to the Euro bailout fund. So obviously the key move now for Europe is to just bundle up all of its various countries’ debt into one big asset-backed security with Germany in the top tranche and Italy in the bottom one and then the S&P will be all “AAAA++++++ WOULD BUY AGAIN.” Read more on S&P Threatens to Downgrade Everyone, Donald Trump Still as Annoying as Ever…
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Jobs Report Slightly Less Awful, Democrats About to Beat GOP For Once

NEW YORK—Big news this morning out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics: the unemployment rate dropped! Like, a lot! People without jobs are now at the lowest number they’ve been at since six months or so after the economy fell off a cliff (which, it should be noted, still remains at an astoundingly high 13.3 million people without jobs). Read more on Jobs Report Slightly Less Awful, Democrats About to Beat GOP For Once…
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Bachmann to Close Non-Existent US Embassy in Iran, GOP Taking Away Billionaires’ Food Stamps

NEW YORK—The Euro Zone death watch was put on hold yesterday as central banks turned on the firehose to pump some much-needed liquidity into the region. International markets rallied, the Dow closed up five hundred points, and rich people the world over were all very pleased with these developments. Read more on Bachmann to Close Non-Existent US Embassy in Iran, GOP Taking Away Billionaires’ Food Stamps…
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Newt Brags About His Money, Herman ‘In Special Relationship’ with UK

NEW YORK—Pop your popcorn, people, because this is RICH: thanks to a thorough Times piece today we learn that the reason Newt Gingrich shouldn’t be considered a lobbyist is because… Newt Gingrich isn’t a registered lobbyist! (Anyone else just dying of anticipation for the first time Rick Perry tries to pronounce “tautology”?) Read more on Newt Brags About His Money, Herman ‘In Special Relationship’ with UK…
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Citigroup Not Off the Hook Just Yet, Barney Frank Announces Retirement the Only Way He Knows How: Frankly

Real American Hero Judge Jed Rakoff of the US District Court in Manhattan tossed out a proposed SEC settlement after charges that Citigroup had bet against the very mortgage securities it was selling its customers. Rakoff hasn’t tossed out the settlement entirely, but is asking for a resolution where Citigroup isn’t allowed to “neither confirm nor deny” their wrongdoing, a sort of public interest fact-finding he identifies as the SEC’s role in uncovering the truth, but which the SEC traditionally shies away from because it doesn’t have the resources to handle protracted trials. Because, right, of course Wall St. would have more legal firepower than an agency in a city populated with 94% lawyers. In any event, Rakoff has this crazy idea that part of the SEC’s job is to actually discover the truth behind these accusations and not just let Wall St. cop a plea as part of “the costs of doing business.” What a dreamer, this guy. Read more on Citigroup Not Off the Hook Just Yet, Barney Frank Announces Retirement the Only Way He Knows How: Frankly…
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Newt Gingrich a Mega-Millionaire, Sam Brownback Still Can’t Get Any Respect from Teen Twitterer

Occupiers in both Philadelphia and Los Angeles defied eviction notices last night. The reluctance to evict in Los Angeles may be due in part to the several thousand protesters who arrived in support of the encampment, and reports suggest the police were waiting for supporters to head home before commencing an eviction in earnest. In Philadelphia, meanwhile, police did not follow through on plans to evict a mere few dozen protesters, perhaps due at least in part to the fact that Philly’s police chief is a pretty stand-up guy who broadcasted a reading of the First Amendment over the police scanner when the occupation first got started. Read more on Newt Gingrich a Mega-Millionaire, Sam Brownback Still Can’t Get Any Respect from Teen Twitterer…
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Shoppers Gird for Black Friday, Third Party Thinkpieces Make Inevitable Comeback

NEW YORK—The internet is abuzz this morning with news out of Los Angeles that one thrifty customer at an area Wal-Mart resorted to pepper spraying twenty other shoppers in a frantic hunt for $10 Wii games and $29 tricycles. The assailant remains on the loose, but the LA Times scored some choice quotes from L.A. Fire Captain James Carson, who said the pepper spray was a tactic meant to “gain preferred access to a variety of locations in the store,” which, ok! Mr. Carson clarified by saying “she was competitive shopping,” which sounds to us like a great TV pitch, sort of like C.O.P.S meets Supermarket Sweep. Read more on Shoppers Gird for Black Friday, Third Party Thinkpieces Make Inevitable Comeback…
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Americans Gobble Up Lard, Lenders Don’t Gobble Up German Debt

NEW YORK—It’s Thanksgiving in America, which can only mean one thing: giant helium balloons have taken over New York City’s 7th Avenue for the 85th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. OK, two things actually, since Thanksgiving in America also means crazy people pitching tents outside of Best Buy. Read more on Americans Gobble Up Lard, Lenders Don’t Gobble Up German Debt…
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Bombing Iran, Politicizing Turkey

New polling shows fully half of the nation would support an attack on Iran should the latest sanctions fail. Considering that the consensus at last night’s debate was that sanctions had already failed, we’re all basically living 2002 all over again. Read more on Bombing Iran, Politicizing Turkey…
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Super Committee Flops, Stocks Drop, Newt Glops

NEW YORK — In a surprise to no one who has any sort of functioning memory of Washington over the last decade (i.e. not the Beltway press), the supercommittee has failed. Gird yourselves now for the coming year of annoying politicians repeating annoying terms like “trigger” and “sequester. Hilariously, Wall Street plunged a couple of percentage points on the news yesterday, demonstrating once again that the people running Wall Street are exceptionally incapable goofballs who hadn’t yet accounted for the inevitable failure that 70% of the 99% were betting on. Read more on Super Committee Flops, Stocks Drop, Newt Glops…