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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"In Moscow they call it 'the 2012 problem.' Asked for the first time point blank about their plans for Russia’s presidential elections in less than three years’ time, Vladimir Putin, prime minister, and Dmitry Medvedev, president, gave similar answers. Mr Putin, president until 2008, when he anointed his protégé Mr Medvedev his successor, signalled his intention to return, telling a group of visiting Russia experts: 'We will decide it amongst ourselves.' Mr Medvedev told the same group: 'A while ago, I had no intention of running for the presidency but fate has intervened...and I am not ruling anything out.' On the surface, innocuous words. But Russia’s political class nonetheless senses that the scripted and harmonious relationship between the two has suddenly been injected with political competition. The notion that there might be a real contest for the Kremlin was captured in a front page headline of Monday’s Vedomosti newspaper: 'Election 2012: The president’s and prime minister’s teams launch their primaries.'" (FT)

"Former three-term New York Governor George Pataki has been coy of late as to whether or not he plans to run for Kirsten Gillibrand's Senate seat in 2010. But it seems more and more like he's ready to get in the race. He recently weighed in on both national and state politics in a teleconference organized by the RNC, criticizing the President's handling of Governor Paterson's possible succession. Pataki has confirmed that Senator John Cornyn, head of the GOP's Senate campaign committee, is courting him. Pataki, who beat then-three term Governor Mario Cuomo in 1994, says he believes that the President is weakening the already-weak Paterson, and that's not good for the state, though there's certainly the possibility that Pataki's 'defense' of the state's first African-American governor might actually be a ploy to gain votes against the still largely undefined junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand." (AirAmerica)



"Yukio Hatoyama became prime minister of Japan on September 16, two weeks after a landslide election victory made his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) the first single opposition party to take over Japanese government since World War II. The DPJ now holds nearly two-thirds of the 480 seats in the Japanese Diet's powerful lower house, which approves budgets, initiates most legislation, and selects the prime minister. Given such dominance, the party, however fractious, will likely remain in power for at least the four years of its new parliamentary mandate -- influencing the country's political-economic landscape during a crucial period of transition in East Asian affairs, and potentially in U.S.-Japanese relations as well. Weighty issues affecting both Asian regionalism and the U.S. security role in East Asia loom over the next half decade." (ForeignAffairs)



("Precious" director Lee Daniels with Sapphire via indieWIRE)

"Two weeks ago, indieWIRE published an article speculating what the Venice-Telluride-Toronto trifecta of film festivals might tell us about the fast approaching 2009 awards season. And as it turns out, we were mostly right. But what’s unfortunate about that is what an unexciting two weeks it made for. Perhaps the fact that 'Precious' ending up winning Toronto’s audience award speaks to that more than anything else. Almost everything that materialized from those three major fests we either already knew, or probably saw coming. So let’s return to indieWIRE‘s ten aforepublished suggestions, and see where things stand now that the dust has settled .." (IndieWIRE)

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