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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



(image via foxnews)

"President Obama certainly has policy grounds that justify his cross-aisle nomination of New York Republican Rep. John M. McHugh to be secretary of the Army. McHugh, whose 23rd Congressional District way upstate includes the Army's vast Fort Drum, is now ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, the culmination of more than 16 years in the House focused heavily on military-related issues. But it's hard not to notice that this is the latest in a series of personnel moves by the White House that have strengthened the Democrats' prospects in future elections. Although McHugh maintained his strong popularity at home over nine House elections, his district -- like most of the Northeast -- has trended Democratic for president and gave 52 percent of its 2008 votes to Obama. Democratic strategists say they plan to stage a serious takeover bid in the special election that will occur later this year if McHugh, as expected, is confirmed as Army secretary." (CQPolitics)



"The dining room was jam-packed with the Wednesday regulars in action, so there was plenty to keep us entertained. I was also happy to catch up with some pals I hadn't seen in a while. When my friend Andre Leon Talley swept through the door resplendent in a rose-hued Prada coat and 'raspberry velvet' custom-made Manolo Blahnik sandals, I was thrilled that he had time for a chat before joining George Malkemus for lunch. I just had to ask him what he thought about Morley Safer's segment on Anna Wintour that aired on 60 Minutes a few weeks back. 'I was really impressed with their research,' said Andre, who reported that the show spent weeks at Vogue's offices and trekked to Europe for the collections to cover Anna in action and get many of fashion's most famous faces to weigh in on her decades-long reign at the style bible. We both agreed that Morley sounded a wee bit contemptuous of the players and the game." (FishbowlNY)



"'Dress like an A$$hole on a yacht. If you’re already and A$$hole, dress like you’re on a yacht.' You all obliged. And we had a smashing time. That’s right, last night’s YACHT ROCK party, co-hosted by College Humor was a huge success." (Guestofaguest)

"After the outbreak of the war in Georgia last August, Russia's stock market started plunging relentlessly, dropping a total of 80 percent from its height in May to its nadir in October. New revelations emerged about Russia's oligarchs -- it turned out they had borrowed more than anybody realized -- and much of their wealth vanished. Within a few months, two-thirds of the country's 100 wealthiest were no longer billionaires .. The crisis has revealed how little Putin has done for the well-being of the Russian population during his time in office. The high economic growth of the last decade has been driven by market transformation, free capacity, and high oil prices. Putin has been responsible for none of the above and has done nothing to help the country's current business environment, which is awful and getting worse. Most shocking is Russia's extraordinary corruption. According to Transparency International, Russia is the 33rd most corrupt country out of 180 countries. (The only country richer in terms of per capita and more corrupt than Russia is Equatorial Guinea.) One consequence is that Russia cannot undertake major infrastructure projects. Its road network, for example, has not expanded since Putin came to power in 2000." (Foreignaffairs)



"The Gordon Parks Foundation, founded in memory of the boundary-breaking photographer and filmmaker, handed out awards at a gala dinner last night to a diverse quartet of creative talents: Liya Kebede, Bruce Weber, Russell Simmons, and Isabel Toledo. Parks, who died in 2006 at the age of 93, shot for Vogue before becoming the first African-American photographer on the Life masthead; his subjects ranged from Paris fashions to the Harlem streets, and he directed a pretty well-known movie in the seventies. 'Who hasn't seen Shaft? That changed everything!' Kebede exclaimed." (Style)

"Though she just met Alex Rodriguez, Kate Hudson is already acting like a devoted girlfriend. While A-Rod was in Cleveland playing the Indians Monday night, the blond beauty popped into Bar 108 on West Houston Street to catch the game. 'Kate was watching A-Rod bat,' said our spy. 'She only stayed for one inning but was cheering the whole time.' Tuesday night she watched from the stands at Yankee Stadium." (PageSix)



"We flew over departing New York from Newark yesterday morning on Virgin Atlantic arriving at London Heathrow at little after 8 pm. Someone told me that the day flight was easier jet-lag-wise, although if you start as early as we did (getting up at 5 to be at the airport at 6:30) and go to bed as late as we do (filing NYSD before), there isn’t much difference .. We’re here to cover the opening of the Olympia International Fine Art and Antiques Summer Fair which opens today." (NYSocialDiary)

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