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Friday, March 12, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Zbigniew Brzezinski correctly noted in Foreign Affairs that 'so far, Obama’s foreign policy has generated more expectations than strategic breakthroughs.' Brzezinski does not advocate an exercise to sort out competing foreign-policy visions, but instead calls for a tenacious and energetic effort to realize the goals that the president has already elaborated. AN EFFORT like this requires, first of all, an understanding of the international landscape and where the United States finds itself amid this terrain. From this perspective, analogies with the Carter administration and the problems it confronted are not very helpful. Instead, when Barack Obama entered office a year ago, he encountered a world not too dissimilar from that confronted by Richard Nixon forty years earlier. In 1969, the United States was waging a difficult, costly and increasingly unpopular counterinsurgency campaign in Vietnam." (TheNationalinterest)



"Tom Cruise does not want to be No. 2. A week ago, Fox moved Cruise's upcoming action-romance, Knight and Day, from its July 2 release date to the previous weekend. And so Cruise dodged a bullet: The comeback movie pairing him with Cameron Diaz got out of the way of a behemoth known as The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. In the middle of a carefully orchestrated comeback, Cruise did not want his film to open at anything but No. 1. He did not want to look like the older alternative to the wan youths of Twilight. 'Let's face it, he is resurrecting his career,' says an executive working on the project. 'This is an incredibly important movie for him.'" (Kim Masters/TheDailyBeast)



(image via JH/NYSD)

"Maastricht, Netherlands. A light snow falling last night, and cold enough so that you needed to wrap up in something warm, as you can see your breath when you’re outside. This is the NYSD’s fifth year covering the European Fine Art Fair known to the world of dealers and their clientele as TEFAF, and our fourth year actually present in Maastricht (we weren’t able to make it last year) for the opening day. TEFAF is, to my knowledge, the largest and most splendid fine art fair in the world. ... The people watching, I should add, is no disappointment either. We ran into several New Yorkers including Victoria Wyman, Edward Lee Cave, Judy and Alfred Taubman, David Kleinberg, Margery and Jeffrey Rosen, Clifford Ross (who was exhibiting with a photograph at Robilant), To the American eye, it is fascinating to see the crowds from all over Europe, South America and Asia pile in like bees to honey. There are some exhibits, like a 1760 brass clock tower that spits (and automatically recycles) on all four corners of its base, pearls on the minute, literally drew crowds throughout the day." (NYSocialDiary)



"With Disney's announcement on Thursday that it was pushing deeper into the Indian market, the studio joins a list of Hollywood players that have taken big bets on local-language productions. But so far the bet has not shown the kind of payoff that Hollywood expects. Germany, France and have proven to be profitable foreign excursions. But India, the largest producer of films in the world, has been more problematic. 'All of the studios have initiatives, all of them have now made it a point to say that they are getting into Indian language films,' Ashok Amritraj, CEO of Hyde Park Entertainment, told TheWrap. 'So far, they've only done OK.' 'For the last 50 years, Hollywood has failed to distribute its films in India,' said William Keenan, co-president of the east-west studio consulting firm Nuclear Mango, to TheWrap. 'Lately, Hollywood studios are making deals with local Asian and Indian producers, but there haven't been too many successes to speak of.' Corpses in Hollywood's India efforts far outweigh the healthy specimens." (TheWrap)



"Britain's first female director of hardcore porn films is aiming to become Gravesham's MP. Anna Arrowsmith, 38, has been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the borough at the looming general election. The boss of adult film company Easy on the Eye, she has made about 300 movies and her book teaching couples how to make porn at home has sold more than 22,000 copies. She will be standing for Parliament against Labour candidate Kathryn Smith and the current MP, Conservative Adam Holloway, in the election expected on May 6. In a message posted on her Twitter page, Mrs Arrowsmith says: 'From porn to Parliament, here I come!'" (TheWrap)



"Mirror, mirror, on the wall who is the least ugly of them all? This is how I feel when I examine the alternatives offered by the forthcoming general election. If guests, like fish, start to stink after three days, UK governments, with their vast powers, stink after three terms. The present government is a good example. Moreover, another term could be as damaging for Labour as was John Major’s surprise 1992 victory over Neil Kinnock for the Tories. Labour needs to lose, for its own sake, let alone the country’s. More important, after 10 years at the Treasury, Gordon Brown bears heavy responsibility for the crisis in which the UK finds itself. 'No more Tory boom and bust', he said. So the UK has had Labour boom and bust, instead. The government argues that this was a global crisis. But the 6 per cent decline in UK gross domestic product between its pre-crisis peak and the last quarter of 2009 is the third highest in the Group of Seven leading high-income economies, after Italy (at 6.5 per cent) and Japan (at 6.3 per cent). The UK’s fiscal deterioration is dramatic." (Martin Wolf/FT)



"In Mr Obama’s first year, the White House looked as cool and disciplined as the president himself. Lately, however, voters and Congress have veered off message, electing a Republican senator in Massachusetts and threatening to drive a stake through the health reform Mr Obama had put at the heart of his first term. An iron law of politics holds that at times of political unravelling the fixer becomes the scapegoat and the planter of stories turns into the story itself. Fed by leaks galore, the newspapers have lit up with tales of rifts great and small between Mr Emanuel and his colleagues. Even the grey lady is bestirring herself: the New York Times this week ran an article of nearly 8,000 words on Mr Emanuel and his woes. In hard times, friends fall out. And Mr Emanuel, who worked in the Clinton White House, has never been as close to the president as David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett and the rest of the Chicago coterie who campaigned with Mr Obama. Mr Emanuel’s enemies blame him for trimming the president’s ambitions. His defenders say it is a pity Mr Obama did not heed his chief of staff’s warnings against overreach. As to the inevitable question of whether Mr Emanuel will manage to keep his job, you read the answer here first: if health reform survives, so will he." (TheEconomist)



"At The Oak Room last night, memoir enthusiasts joined Karl Rove to celebrate the release of his latest book, Courage & Consequence. Claudio Ochoa, a New York lawyer, hosted the party. Guests enjoyed drinks and h'orderves as Karl Rove spoke about his political memoir, sub - titled My Life As a Conservative In The Fight. After his excerpt attendees mingled and enjoyed the Oak Room's comfortable ambiance." (Guestofaguest)

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