Thursday, January 25, 2007

Best Of Davos, Day 4:

Link via Arianna Huffington via Jeff Jarvis' Buzzmachine

The Shifting Power Equation The Environment and instability in The Middle East are the big topics at Davis this year and, we cannot fail to note, these are all readymade Al Gore specialties. We're just saying. From Arianna Huffington:

"Amid much pessimistic speculation about the myriad problems facing us -- Iran, North Korea, China, a growing hostility to America throughout the world -- (Former Presidential advisor David) Gergen offered a sliver of sunshine, saying that he sensed 'a cracking of the ice' on the domestic political front, with progress on the horizon on immigration, energy policy, and health care. As Exhibit A he cited the number of Republican House members who voted in favor of the Democrats' 100 Hour agenda.

"He called Bush's foreign policies 'misguided as hell,' but based his hope on the fact that 'One of the things America has always been reasonably good at is self-correction. I think that no matter who replaces the current administration, we will undertake that process of self-correction.' This prompted Laudicina to recall the words of Winston Churchill who once proclaimed: 'America will always do the right thing, after exhausting all other possibilities.'

"I took the opportunity to wish that Gergen, Kristof, and (Jay) Nordlinger (who shares my passion for Maria Callas, if not my politics) would help accelerate the cracking of the ice by calling on the media to stop presenting so many issues (especially Iraq) using the outdated right/left, red state/blue state framing."

Angela Merkel, arguably THE A-Lister at Davos (Now that her alliterative twin Angelina opted out), is, according to Julian Glover, a duller event than observing a nice slow instance of photosynthesis.

It is instructive to note, however, how muchPower women have this year in world politics. Seeing Madame Speaker sitting behind the President was one thing. As is the current Democratic Party frontrunner for '08. Summing up TheGuardian's Julian Glover, of Merkel, the rhetorically-challenges superstar at Davos:

"In the end what matters about Merkel is her power: unlike Tony Blair, who will close this conference on Saturday, and who will no doubt speak much more sweetly and passionately, she can follow up her words with action.

"Rhetoric is all very well. But reality gives even the dullest speech meaning."

and, on a lighter note, what do the Masters of the Universe like to eat (Aside from Panamanian peasant babies, we mean)? From the International Herald Tribune:

"... With 250 private receptions, midnight corporate munch sessions and breakfast, lunch and dinner seminars with proliferating plot lines ranging from "Russia's More Muscular Diplomacy" to whether 'CEOs are disproportionately affected by depression,' the answer remains the same.

"'We don't know,' said the forum's media chief, Mark Adams. 'What the delegates eat and drink is up to the chefs at the hotels and restaurants where the events are held. They like to surprise.'

"Historically, it's perhaps no surprise that veal — usually schnitzeled — is the most frequent main-course meat served up by the forum's Alpine chefs.

"B├╝ndnerfleisch, a pricey dried-beef delicacy from the Grisons region, is rarely seen on the seminar menu, though some hotels do offer delegates other local specialties such as capuns (a meat, cheese and salad-leaf pie) and a drippy sweet nut-and-honey dessert called b├╝ndner nusstorte.

"As for the wine, it's mostly Swiss, both red and white.

"One thing has long been clear: Power brokers prefer prawns.

"Over the past five years, prawns, peeled down and piled high, have been the main attraction at the annual reception given by the NYSE Group, which runs the New York Stock Exchange.

"Long prawn lines are also guaranteed at the extravagant bashes for delegates sponsored by Google, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs Group, whose guests are usually entertained with harp music."

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