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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"When President Obama walked into the Roosevelt Room a little before noon today, he looked more rested than I expected. No need for a late night, Obama explained, he saw the election loss that will change the course of his Presidency coming a week ago. Unruffled, the President was not in apology-mode. I pressed him on what's gone wrong -- Kennedy's seat, health care, his failure to heal the partisan breach as promised -- and Obama did concede some 'mistakes' (mostly failures to communicate). But the President expressed no second thoughts on the fundamental strategic and policy decisions of his first year. Including health care. The President's message? He had to try and he won't give up. But even though Obama wasn't waving the white flag yet, it's pretty clear he's preparing to sue for peace. No Senate action before Scott Brown is seated, and Obama's not going to insist that the House pass the Senate bill. He'll take whatever he can get -- preferably with Republican support -- as long as he can get it fast." (George Stephanopoulos/ABCNews)



"The three Grand Dames of Fashion joined up last night to celebrate Lincoln Center as the new home of New York Fashion Week, starting with Fall Fashion Week.- The event also marked the passing of the torch from Fern Mallis to former Vogue staffer Stephanie Winston Wolkoff as director of Fashion Week. Such a momentous occasion calls for quite the celebration, and all the powers that be in the Fashion Industry attended, including Amy Astley, Betsey Johnson, Catherine Malandrino, Erin Fetherston, Georgina Chapman, Harvey Weinstein .." (Guestofaguest)



"The Bagger has not even packed away our Southern California finery, and now we have to get ready to swaddle ourselves in down for the Sundance Film Festival. (We know, you’re crying for us.) The festival of independent filmdom and hypedom, which begins on Thursday in Park City, Utah, may not be the seller’s market it was a few years ago, when million-dollar deals were made willy-nilly over fireplace cocktails (or so the Bagger has heard), but there are still films to be fought over. Movieline has a list of the '5 Films Most Likely to Start a Bidding War,' including 'Blue Valentine,' in which Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams play young marrieds trying to rekindle their relationship, and 'Buried,' in which Ryan Reynolds stars as a military contractor buried alive in Iraq. (Upside: Mr. Reynolds is coming off a string of hits. Downside: 'In the end, it is just the Ryan Reynolds-trapped-in-a-coffin movie.')" (NYTimes)



"Even if you're not familiar with the New York media in-crowd, the name Neel Shah probably rings a bell. In his off hours this writer can be seen at all the right places and parties, hanging out with the very socialites he covers on Page Six, and, of course, always looking sharp. So who is this style phile? Shah earned his stripes under Nick Denton's tutelage at Gawker before moving to Radar in 2006. When that book folded it was on to the Post, where he currently lords over Page Six ... Tom Wolfe isn't the only scribe making a sartorial statement every time he steps out of the house. Shah is a real tartan aficionado, pairing checks and plaids with everything from ripped shorts to skinny ties and suit jackets." (Guestofaguest)



"Is the world’s wealthiest street artist yucking it up at this year’s Sundance Film Festival with the rest of the rich people? Quite possibly. This freshly painted stencil was spotted on the mean streets of Park City and a new documentary featuring Banksy called 'Exit Through the Giftshop,' is expected to premiere at the snow-covered corporate clusterfuck." (AnimalNY via Gawker)



"A year on, Obama has done an awful lot of what he promised. On foreign and defense policy, with a few exceptions, such as Guantánamo, there is no large gap between what he said he would do and what he has done. On the domestic side, although the role of federal policy in American schools is limited, his education policy has been very good—Arne Duncan is certainly one of his best cabinet officers. On energy policy, he has done many of the things that it is in the power of the White House to do; unlike with health insurance, however, business and other interest groups have not yet sorted out a grand bargain to remake national policy on carbon pricing. On health care, Obama is close to signing the most important piece of social legislation in a generation—one that, for all its imperfections, will go some way toward addressing the insecurities that have plagued so many middle-class and working families during the Lost Decade of boom and bust. (If health care goes down, that failure will gouge a hole in Obama’s Presidency that would require two terms and much other accomplishment to patch.) And, oh yes, Washington hasn’t changed." (New Yorker)



"A legion of arguments almost drove Obama away from this new moderate position over the last ten weeks of discussion. There was our general fear in Afghanistan and Pakistan of the modern demons, which policy experts dub 'insurgency, terrorism, civil war, human rights–abusing warlords, narcotics, weapons of mass destruction, and global jihad' and the spawn of 'safe havens, rogue, fragile, and failed states.' There was our developing sense, over the last eight years, that the status quo was unacceptable. From 2001, sections of the international community attempted to assist the Afghan government in the construction of a state. The British Department for International Development put 80 percent of its funds into direct budgetary support for the Afghan government and NGOs implemented health, education, and rural development projects as contractors for the Afghan government. Such efforts were described by NATO as a "comprehensive approach to security, governance and economic development" in which the UN, an apparently benevolent Karzai government, NATO, and the NGOs would all play their part—largely in concert because there was no perceived conflict between their aims and values. Challenges from warlords, druglords, lack of funds, and lack of government authority were to be met through cen- tralization, disarmament of opposition groups, crop eradication, coordination, and closer partnership. It was assumed that it would be possible within a reasonable time (some documents claimed within seven years) to build a stable centralized state, largely independent of foreign support, arranged around the rule of law and a technocratic administration, with a vibrant economy based on lawful commerce and trade. Few expected the Taliban to reemerge. Comparisons were drawn with the development of Korea or Singapore. Eight years later this seems a tragic fantasy." (Rory Stewart/NYRB)



"Ahhh, Sundance. A winter wonderland of glamour, parties, Hollywood royalty and, of course: lots and lots of fancy gift bags. Think PR helped celebrities gear up for the festival and its bounty of free stuff with its 4th Annual Pre-Sundance Gifting Lounge at the W Hotel in L.A., standing out from the generic swag scene with unique gifts, laid-back people, and a cool atmosphere. Celebs such as Malin Akerman, Christian Serratos, Stephanie Pratt and KayCee Stroh rifled through the piles of goodies and kept toasty with butternut squash soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and hot chocolate, courtesy of W L.A.'s NINETHIRTY restaurant." (Papermag)




"If you believe some of the blogs, the Democrats lost Massachusetts, and Obama’s approval is plummeting nationwide, because he alienated his left-wing base. Perhaps that does account for an absence of turnout among young voters in the Virginia gubernatorial or Massachusetts Senate races, but the polls have not shown growing dissatisfaction among young, minority, or liberal voters--the three voting blocs that accounted for Obama’s strongest support in 2008. Where he has lost ground--and where the Democrats have lost ground--is primarily among white working and middle-class voters and senior citizens. The Suffolk University poll in Massachusetts, which like the PPP poll, was pretty much on target in the final result, singled out two white working-class towns, Gardner and Fitchburg, as bellwethers. Obama won Gardner, where Democrats hold a three-to-one registrations edge, by 59 percent to 31 percent in 2008. Brown won it by 56 percent to 42 percent. Obama won Fitchburg, with a similar Democratic edge, by 60 percent to 38 percent in 2008. Brown won it by 59 percent to 40 percent. That suggests a fairly dramatic shift among white working class voters." (TNR)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

awesome cool stuff. thanks for writing all this. i hate the way other ppl write. this is a nicer on the eyes for some reason. of course, i don't read everything but your pictures seem decent.