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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Today, time is running out for any viable two-state solution. This realization is deeply troubling to the majority of Israelis who fear that the right-wing settlers' movement is hijacking the peace process. Israel’s liberals desperately need a game-changer. As the Israeli-American historian Bernard Avishai recently wrote, 'there is a culture war in Israel now, and the only way the liberal side of it can mount an offensive is if America keeps the heat on.' In dealing with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Obama administration should emulate the strength and stubbornness of Ike in confronting Ben-Gurion. It would take one phone call for Obama to tell Netanyahu that the building of new settlements anywhere in the Occupied Territories, including East Jerusalem, has to stop. Period. And if not, then Netanyahu needs to know there will be severe trade and financial sanctions. This would be Obama’s gift of tough love for the Israelis. Yes, I know this scenario is unlikely, even na├»ve. It almost certainly won’t happen. This is 2010, not 1956. But trust me, if it doesn’t happen, things will only get worse." (Kai Bird/TheDailyBeast)



"Euan Rellie celebrated turning 42 by throwing a dinner party for 40 pals with his wife Lucy Sykes Rellie at Macao Trading Company in TriBeCa. The crowd ran the social gamut from bankers to badly behaved models to boozed-up mommies. Tim Schifter, Sara Ruffin Costello, Olivia Chantecaille, Joey Jalleo, Boykin Curry, Ann Caruso, Mary Harris, Kristian Laliberte, Amanda Ross, Kelly Bensimon and Alan Rish were all there, but Rie Rasmussen supplied the drama. Rie recently told Page Six that Terry Richardson tricks young girls into getting naked for his camera, and later had a run-in with the designer at Paris Fashion Week. 'I confronted Terry at Montana in Paris last week,' Rie told me. 'He was such a coward. He ran away from me and out the front door of the club.' Rellie, in his signature Thom Browne suit, said that his wife calls him a 'social snowball.' 'The only rule is to invite lots of pretty girls,' he advised with a wink. 'Everyone likes to go to a party with pretty girls. Even pretty girls.'" (Papermag)



"Still in the midst of a diplomatic fracas with Israel, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also found herself in a mini-crisis with Russia during last week's Moscow trip. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin publicly snubbed Clinton during a meeting Friday, hectoring her in front of reporters after announcing Thursday that Russia would bring the nuclear reactor it is constructing in Iran online later this year. This comes just as Washington is hoping to tighten the screws on Tehran over its illicit nuclear program. Putin's treatment of Clinton raises doubts about the Barack Obama administration's strategy toward Russia, which has focused on building up the supposedly moderate President Dmitri Medvedev, reportedly one of the few foreign leaders Obama has bonded with, as a counterweight to Putin. Obama's focus on a personal relationship with a Russian leader is nothing new; in fact it's drearily consistent with how past U.S. presidents have handled their relations with Russia." (ForeignPolicy)



"It is Asia Week in New York. Last night the Asia Society hosted A Celebration of Asia Week: AllThingsArtASIA beginning with a cocktail reception for several hundred at the Society and Museum on Park Avenue and 70th Street .. This event is also the Asia Society’a major annual spring fundraiser. Mira Nair, Vivienne Tam and BD Wong were honorary chairs. The reception at the Asia Society museum featured Asian fashion designers and artisans as well as music and 'culinary delights' created by guest chef Michael Bao Huynh. It was crowded when I arrived at 7:30 an hour an a half it started. I saw Richard Meier across the room, and Inger Elliott and Dinda Elliott, George Wayne, Lucia Hwong Gordon, model Irina Panteva, Fern Mallis, John Liu, Eiko Assael and Sandra Ripert." (NYSocialDiary)



"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in Washington this week amid unaccustomed tension between the two allies — a strain that is now playing out in House and Senate races across the 2010 election landscape. The White House-Israel feud over settlement building in East Jerusalem has Republicans racing to attack the White House as squishy and disloyal to Israel, weak-kneed on foreign policy and even soft on Iran. Democrats, meanwhile, are dealing with sensitive intraparty conflicts between those who want to reiterate America’s strong support for Israel and a more dovish wing that insists a tougher approach to Israel is the best way to push the peace process forward. 'I think candidates are just hiding under their desks because no one wants to get into this,' said Steve Rabinowitz, a longtime Democratic strategist and Clinton administration official who has advised Jewish groups. 'This week, the answer is to just not dance.'" (Politico)



"Howard (Stern) said that Barack Obama is the winner of the decade with this whole health care thing. Howard said that there are people who make as much as $60-70,000 a year and they can't afford health care and it's been a blight on the country. Howard said he heard that this Tea Party was out spitting on a congressman and calling him the N-word. Howard said most of these Tea Party people are going to be thrilled when they can get health care in 5 years. Howard said he didn't have health insurance when he started out as a DJ. He said he wasn't a bum either. He said he was trying to build a career and he couldn't afford it. Howard said that Richard Nixon was going to pass a national health care thing before Watergate broke. He said that he was going to get it passed until that happened. Howard said that Bill Clinton wanted to get it passed too but that didn't' work out. Howard said Obama said he was going to give us change and this is change. Howard said the negativity is the health insurance industry complaining about it. Robin said they want to pass a sugar tax on soft drinks and there are regular people saying this is just another way to get money from them but that's the soft drink companies telling them what to say. Howard said this is a pretty amazing accomplishment. He said it's historic and that's what they're saying in the news. Robin said that they're just trying to get everyone covered with health care and there's a whole revolution against it." (Marksfriggin)

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