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Friday, July 31, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"QUINCY Jones all over St. Tropez, starting with lunch at Club 55, then a soirée at Hotel Byblos, where he hooked up with moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, then to the VIP Room with Busta Rhymes." (PageSix)



"It took Representative Dan Maffei of New York two tries, $4 million and the retirement of a Republican incumbent to win his House seat last year. After all that, he wants to avoid becoming a one-term wonder because of an unpopular vote on health care. 'We can’t afford to make enemies,' said Mr. Maffei, a former Congressional aide and a Democratic member of the freshman class that played a role this week in slowing House consideration of a health insurance overhaul, upending plans by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to meet President Obama’s goal of approving a bill before the August recess. Of 35 first-term Democrats, Mr. Maffei, who represents the Syracuse area, and 25 others occupy suburban, small-town and rural seats they took out of Republican hands, seats Republicans are eager to take back." (NYTimes)

"Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has shown he knows how to maneuver his way through a bad storm. While leaders in neighboring Louisiana bickered about who loused up the recovery there from Hurricane Katrina, Barbour was taking bows for his work in Mississippi and cruising to re-election with a higher margin than four years earlier.The former national Republican Party chairman is leading the Republican Governors Association, having stepped in to take the wheel after its former chairman, Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina flamed out in a scandal that left his career and family in tatters. Barbour takes over the RGA as 37 states prepare to hold gubernatorial elections next year. Thus, Barbour will be raising money and campaigning on behalf of many Republican candidates, increasing his national profile and getting himself up to date with key party officials, politicians and donors across the country. In June he visited the pivotal primary states of New Hampshire and Iowa to help raise money for their state GOP organizations. That combination of appearances is rarely a coincidence." (CQPolitics)



(Olivia Thirlby via fashionweekdaily)

"A smattering of stars like Gabrielle Union, Rachel Bilson, Mandy Moore, Paris and Nicky Hilton, Kate Mara, Camila Alves, Josie Maran, Molly Sims and Olivia Wilde stepped out on Wednesday night to show their support for R.A.D.D. (Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving), a non-profit promoting road safety amongst the entertainment industry. And most were safely driven to the bash by their drivers." (FashionweekDaily)



"Perhaps the most striking aspect of this week's Strategic and Economic Dialogue between top U.S. and Chinese officials is how amicable and sedate it has been. The Washington Post described how Chinese officials heard 'soothing words of reassurance' in lieu of the traditional litany of currency and trade complaints. Secretary Clinton acknowledged that there may not have been a lot of concrete achievements, but said the talks laid the groundwork for closer ties. Meanwhile, the Chinese currency remained roughly fixed against the dollar, just as it has been since last summer. Had this been a Bush Strategic Economic Dialogue, one could have expected howls of outrage: The American worker is being sold out! When will the administration get tough? Don't they know what has happened to manufacturing employment? Let's pass a law and force their hand! I suspect a McCain administration would have been similarly attacked. Indeed, it is a sign of how far Sino-American relations have come that a U.S. leader on the left now enjoys an advantage over his right-wing counterparts in the eyes of most Americans when negotiating economic issues with China." (ForeignPolicy)

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