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Monday, August 23, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



(Two awesome women, image via NYSD)

"On Thursday night I went to a birthday dinner for Molly Jong-Fast who is now officially at the beginning of 30-something. The party was hosted by Molly’s mother Erica Jong and her husband Ken Burrows at their Upper East Side apartment with its fantastic views of Manhattan west, north and south. There were about thirty guests including Molly’s in-laws, her father Jon Fast and her stepmother, Barbara. Everything about the evening was cozy and en famille. When we first sat down to dinner the birthday girl thanked everyone for being present and told us quite seriously how much she loved her parents, her step-parents, her in-laws and her husband Matt Greenfield. Knowing Molly as I do, there is no question that these were her honest feelings. They were also the feelings in the room. I was seated next to the Guest of Honor. On my left was Susan Cheever, the author who is also a neighbor of mine." (NYSocialDiary)



"Recent reports from the Federal Reserve, the Labor Department , and the Commerce Department clearly and demonstratively show that the Obama Administration’s policies have not succeeded – indeed they have failed in ways that are clear and unambiguous. The Obama administration’s policies and programs are not producing real, long lasting results, and there has been no real growth. Put another way, an unprecedented degree of federal government spending and intervention vis-à-vis the $787 billion dollar economic stimulus package, the $81 billion dollar bailouts of GM and Chrysler, and the enactment of health care and financial regulatory and reform bills have done nothing to stimulate our anemic recovery and have fundamentally failed at creating private sector jobs, or generating economic growth necessary for a sustainable, healthy recovery. Indeed, they have done little more than generate an unsustainable national debt, which now exceeds $13 trillion. The Federal Reserve reported that the pace of recovery in the United States 'has slowed in recent months' – with a growth rate of just 2.4 percent in the second quarter down from 3.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010, and an annual rate of 5 percent at the end of 2009." (Doug Schoen/TheDailyBeast)



"There is now a clear consensus over which motion picture was No. 1 at the box office this weekend. Sly Stallone's action holdover The Expendables for Lionsgate is the easy winner after a nailbiter Friday. It was followed closely by a newcomer, another of those cheap Fox spoofs, Vampires Suck, which opened Wednesday. In fact, the order of the entire Top 10 kept changing more than usual day to day because no studio could agree on the grosses. In all, there were 5, count 'em, new films opening in North America to almost close out the summer. Yet none of them could break $12.5M by end of Sunday. Dimension/Weinstein Co's horror pic Piranha 3D underperformed at the box office despite those higher ticket prices. Warner Bros' urban comedy Lottery Ticket did a better per screen average considering its middling release. With a CinemaScore of only 'B', The Switch from Miramax (with production costs shared by Mandate/Lionsgate which has foreign) showed size does matter when it comes to theater count and box office order. Jason Bateman steals this rom-com but it's not likely to stay in play long enough for people to even see his performance." (Deadline)



"As Republicans eye a potential three-seat pickup in Tennessee this fall and the possibility of taking over two House seats and a Senate seat in Arkansas, party strategists are cautiously optimistic that 2010 will be the year that two holdout Southern states are finally brought into the GOP’s fold for good. On the federal level, Arkansas and Tennessee have defied a trend that saw the rest of the states that made up the former Confederacy shift from Democratic to Republican strongholds. It was a shift that traces its roots to former President Richard Nixon’s 'Southern strategy' and established the South as the Republican Party’s most reliable voting block by the turn of the 21st century. Arkansas and Tennessee’s resistance to this geographic trend is credited in no small measure to the success and influence of two homegrown Democratic sons, former President Bill Clinton (an Arkansas governor) and former Vice-President Al Gore (a Tennessee Congressman and Senator). But a decade after Clinton and Gore left the White House, Republicans strategists believe their influence has faded enough to allow for a political realignment in both states in a cycle where the political environment has tilted so heavily in the GOP’s favor. Democrats are keenly aware of the threat of an all out Republican takeover in the region. 'There’s always been a fear, are we one election cycle away from being the next Alabama,' one Arkansas Democratic operative said recently." (CQPolitics)



(FIT's Patricia Mears and Valerie Steele with Liz Peek, image via style)

"For some reason, the Couture Council of the Museum at FIT has decided to honor a guy by the name of 'Karl Lagerfeld' at its annual benefit luncheon next month. Lunch is already sold out, but last night, the group went ahead and formally kicked off ticket sales anyway, as it does every year at its summer party. Couture Council chairs Yaz Hernández, Alexandra Lebenthal, Charlotte Moss, and Liz Peek played host at the French Embassy, as guests including Francisco Costa, Ralph Rucci, and Nicole Miller sipped white Bordeaux and munched on toast point hors d'oeuvres. 'We were at a meeting of the advisory board and someone mentioned, Wouldn't it be great if we could get Karl?' recalled Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of the Museum at FIT. (Apparently, this Karl person is rather a big deal in certain circles.) 'So we were talking about it, like, as kind of a pie-in-the-sky idea,' she continued, 'and finally, I said, you know what? Screw it. Let's ask! He can only say no…' So, lo and behold, Lagerfeld will be making an appearance in New York City on September 10, a prospect that has Hernández properly giddy." (Style)



"A group of joyful A-listers joined former President Clinton yesterday for a Hamptons birthday bash. Among the glitterati said to be on the guest list for Clinton's 64th birthday party were designer Vera Wang, who created his daughter's wedding gown, Katie Couric and music icons Paul McCartney and Jimmy Buffett. The party was held at the Water Mill home of his longtime aide Doug Band and his wife, Lily, and catered by Jason Weiner of Almond restaurant in Bridgehampton. Clinton's wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, co-hosted the party that was also set to include model Christie Brinkley, 'Today Show' host Matt Lauer and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Clinton's birthday was Thursday, and McCartney made it fab for the ex-prez by calling and serenading him with The Beatles' 1967 hit 'When I'm Sixty-Four.'" (PageSix)



"Housing will eventually recover from its great swoon. But many real estate experts now believe that home ownership will never again yield rewards like those enjoyed in the second half of the 20th century, when houses not only provided shelter but also a plump nest egg. The wealth generated by housing in those decades, particularly on the coasts, did more than assure the owners a comfortable retirement. It powered the economy, paying for the education of children and grandchildren, keeping the cruise ships and golf courses full and the restaurants humming. More than likely, that era is gone for good." (NYTimes)

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