blog advertising is good for you

Friday, August 27, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Want evidence that the government in Somalia -- a country that tops the 2010 Failed States Index -- needs desperate help? Allow me to show you the money. Literally. According to the Annual Financial Report released by the office of the Prime Minister today, Somalia's budget in the fiscal year 2009 was just over $11 million. (The budget of Minneapolis Minnesota, by contrast, is $1.4 billion.) The two largest sources of revenue collected were customs duties from the main Mogadishu port ($6.2 million) and exit fees from the airport ($351,920). Taxes couldn't be collected due to security. The government recieved $2.875 million in bilateral aid -- the largest total, $1.6 million coming from Libya (the United States gave just $25,000 -- about the equivalent of a very entry-level staffer's annual income.) Bad. News. But where the situation really comes home is in the line items: While $9.8 million of the country's $11 million was spent on salaries and wages, they are hardly anything to write home about. The president's chief of staff earns $2,250 a year. The governor of the central bank earns $1,000. And $325,000 of the $501,000 that covers the Prime Minister and President's offices goes to travel. Wages in the military and other defense roles account for $6 million (The Economist recently estimated that it costs $1 million to keep one U.S. soldier in Afghanistan for a year.)" (ForeignPolicy)



"In his first book, Notes from the Night: A Life After Dark by Broadway Books, my childhood friend, Taylor Plimpton, bravely confesses his exploits and excesses from more than ten years spent reveling in the New York night. Plimpton, son of the late author and editor of the Paris Review, George Plimpton, grew up, like his father and like me, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He spent his summers and weekends on the South Fork of Long Island, the Hamptons, Sagaponack to be exact. The memoir travels back and forth between the two places, and between Lower Manhattan and Uptown. Notes is at once endearing, insightful, and personal. Capturing aspects of what must be true for most night owls. Themes of youth, friendship, sex, love, booze, drugs, dancing, and the ubiquitous choices that can make or break an evening." (Mandolyna Theodoracopulos)



"The story of Ken Mehlman, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee who publicly acknowledged that he is gay in a conversation with reporter Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic, is part of a larger American story that is still unfolding. A Gallup survey released in May found that 52 percent of Americans consider gay relationships morally acceptable, up from 49 percent a year ago and 40 percent in 2001. But among self-identified Republicans, only 35 percent share that view, a sharp increase from 29 percent last year. As Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud, an organization representing gay conservatives, argues, 'I don’t think conservatives or Republicans are different from anyone else in American on this issue. We’ve seen public opinion moving on this issue for ten or twenty years.' The key driver, in LaSalvia’s view, is the growing number of openly gay individuals. 'As more and more gay people are comfortable living their lives openly,' LaSalvia says, 'people tend to be more supportive.' This certainly accounts for former Vice President Dick Cheney’s strong support for same-sex marriage, which he first hinted at in a 2000 vice presidential debate with Sen. Joe Lieberman." (TheDailyBeast)

No comments: